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More things I love about Hanoi…
November 16th, 2009 by Kate
There is a beautiful lake smack-dab in the middle of the old French Quarter with a pretty little red bridge that leads to a pretty little island with a neat little shrine dedicated to a mysterious lake turtle that has folk lore like the Loch Ness Monster.  The entire lake is surrounded by Royale Poinsetta trees that I am sure look stunning in the spring!

There is a beautiful lake smack-dab in the middle of the old French Quarter with a pretty little red bridge that leads to a pretty little island with a neat little shrine dedicated to a mysterious lake turtle that has folk lore like the Loch Ness Monster. The entire lake is surrounded by Royale Poinsetta trees that I am sure look stunning in the spring!

Every building has a beautiful balconey!
Every building has a beautiful balconey!  French Colonial Architecture – gotta love it!
And the locals look so elegant enjoying their views...

And the locals look so elegant enjoying their views...

Even the government buildings are beautiful.  Every single one of them is painted some version of this yellow - I affectionately call it "Vietnam Yellow".  It ages wonderfully and I plan to paint my house this color when I get home!

Even the government buildings are beautiful. Every single one of them is painted some version of this yellow - I affectionately call it "Vietnam Yellow". It ages wonderfully and I plan to paint my house this color when I get home!

They have my tile!!!  The buildings here have very narrow facades along the street, but go very, very far back.  Between each building is a long (usually very dark) passageway.  The passageways are all tiled with the colored concrete tile that I painstakingly had made for my bathroom at home.  I have about 100 photos of the different patterns I have found here - they are like flowers to me!

They have my tile!!! The buildings here have very narrow facades along the street, but go very, very far back. Between each building is a long (usually very dark) passageway. The passageways are all tiled with the colored concrete tile that I painstakingly had made for my bathroom at home. I have about 100 photos of the different patterns I have found here - they are like flowers to me!

The food here is amazing!  There is NO WAY this restaurant would ever exist in the US.  There is an old lady rolling spring rolls on the sidewalk in front of the tables deep frying them in a massive kettle of oil over an open flame, and the lady kneeling next to her is rolling the meat patties you see in the pic.  They boil them there in yet another massive kettle and laddle them into bowls.  I have no idea where the  greens or noodle came from.  You throw the greens into the bottom of your bowl and then noodles and then meat with broth.  Its is SO tasty.  We waddled out of there - and our bill with drinks was $4US.

The food here is amazing! There is NO WAY this restaurant would ever exist in the US. There is an old lady rolling spring rolls on the sidewalk in front of the tables, and then deep frying them in a massive kettle of oil over an open flame. The lady kneeling next to her is rolling the meat patties you see in the pic. They boil them there in yet another massive kettle and laddle them into serving bowls. A lady washing dishes was out there too (they wash just about all the dishes in buckets out on the sidewalk no matter how nice the joint). I have no idea where the greens or noodle came from, they sort of appeared out of no where (and we decided better NOT to know). So, to eat this, you throw the greens into the bottom of your bowl and then noodles and then meat with broth. Its is SO tasty. We waddled out of there - and our bill with drinks was $4US.

There are approximately 500 motorbikes for every one car in Hanoi.  Yes the roads are this busy from 7am until well after midnight.  How do you cross the street?  You step off the curb given the slightest break in bikes, then you slowly but confidently keep walking.  You don't even need to really look over to see if you are going to be run over, you just keep walking slowly.  They all swerve around you.  I am amazed every time we make it across the street alive.  The girls can even cross by themselves!  It's like Dory in the ocean currents in Finding Nemo... just keep walking, just keep walking...

There are approximately 500 motorbikes for every one car in Hanoi. Yes the roads are this busy from 7am until well after midnight. How do you cross the street? You step off the curb given the slightest break in bikes, then you slowly but confidently keep walking. You don't even need to really look over to see if you are going to be run over, you just keep walking slowly. They all swerve around you. I am amazed every time we make it across the street alive. The girls can even cross by themselves! It's like Dory in the ocean currents in Finding Nemo... just keep walking, just keep walking...


6 Responses  
Auntie Krissy writes:
November 16th, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Do you mean Poinciana Trees? Here they bloom in June.

Paru Wells writes:
November 17th, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Hey Phoebe and Tessa,
Did you see the big turtle?
How did you like Japan?
You were so excited about Japan when you had dinner with us in LA.

Tell you mom and dad to write us so we can meet you in India and we can show you my father’s house there!

Aunt Paru (and Uncle Doug)

Melisa Mace writes:
November 17th, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Love all the details, Vietnam is on my list, you make me want to go even more! I love the tile pics, and the balconies are the best way to people watch. I’ve been in Sayulita, Mexico the last 10 days with out internet. Couldn’t wait to get home and catch up, thanks again for sharing everything.

Miranda writes:
November 18th, 2009 at 3:23 pm

The Tiles!

Tiffany Scharn writes:
November 20th, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Wow I am learning so much from you Professor Kate! Keep it up!!! Now I want to go places I never thought I did before..especially Vietnam! :0)

Richard Ross writes:
November 28th, 2009 at 7:08 pm

That’s so funny, I saw the pic of the tile and thought…hey wait they have that tile.
It’s funny you say there are 500 motorcycles in Hanoi for each person. When I was in Vietnam, many, many years ago one biggest epiphany was that of the difference between north and south. Hanoi, all bicycles and a couple of motorcycles, Hoi An/Da Nang mostly motorcycles and a few cars and Saigon mostly cars with a few motorcycles…the epiphany was about how the people in the north were thin, them middle average and the south fat and had acne. Go figure.

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