Day 256 – 257 (17th & 18th May) – Hanoi

6 06 2011

It doesn’t take long for all these South East Asian cities to all start looking the same…

If it wasn’t for the sign saying ‘Welcome toHanoi’ I feel as though we could be in almost any other South East Asian city; hot, humid, hectic and sticky. However we know as soon as we leave we’ll miss it.

Like Saigon, Hanoi is a city where 360 degrees sight is a must have as dangers in the form of scooters come at you from all directions. As a pedestrian you are the lowest common denominator and are constantly forced on and off the pavement as you work your way past shops that have their displays of goods and produce spill out onto the pavement, scooters parked on the pavement, street sellers and street diners eating street food. Every time you step off the relative safety of the pavement you have to spin your head around 360 degrees to make sure you’re not about to be run over.

All said we did make it out to see the sights like the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum – where we got to see the now 30 year deceased Ho Chi Minh in the flesh! Yeah, after Vietnam’s greatest leader asked to be cremated they decided to embalm the guy and display the body to thousands of people daily. The Old Quarter had an array of interesting French architecture and quaint little alleyways, which were fun to explore.

I think the appeal of the city is the general mental-ness of it all; something that can be best appreciated from afar, like a roof top bar or thumbing through a photo album from the safety and comfort of your living room.

An offering of beer at the temple

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