Ok, in full disclosure, I haven’t actually watched Good Morning, Vietnam yet…but know that as I type this, I’m also downloading it, so I should be watching it in the next few days.
You can currently find me on Cat Ba Island, but yesterday, and the three days before that, were all spent in Hanoi. Chandler and I have decided to take it even easier (three weeks in and we’re already getting lazy), but we’re still seeing so many incredible things.
We spent our time in Hanoi around Old Quarter, just wandering about. We saw countless women on bicycles, selling everything from vibrant flowers to meter-long cucumbers to fruit we didn’t have names for (now we know we prefer longans to rhambutans – they’re easier to eat!). We passed by St. Joseph’s Cathedral, wet markets and dry, restaurants, bars, and boutiques. We even found 25-cent beers, which did more for Chandler than it did for me (mixed drinks still cost anywhere from $2-4).
Some of our activities were a bit more planned – like our night at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater. We had been told that it would get old after five minutes and was probably not worth our time, but we are so glad we went! Perhaps we should have taken it a bit more seriously, it is an incredibly old tradition, but mostly, we just found everything hilarious. Scenes had names like “Catching Frogs,” “Phoenix’s Dance,” and “Hunting the Fox Who Chases After the Ducks.”
We also spent a morning at the Ngoc Son Temple and Huc Bridge around Hoan Kiem Lake (beautiful and relaxing), followed by a visit to the Vietnamese Women’s Museum. Well done and interesting, but perhaps a bit too wordy. The following day we went to the Museum of Fine Arts and were absolutely blown away. We had been to the National Museum in Bangkok, which was pretty much a hodge-podge of everything, but the Museum of Fine Arts in Hanoi was absolutely spectacular.
And now we’re once again relaxing on an island…no beaches this time, but we are excited for some kayaking tomorrow : )