Hanoi, VietnamFebruary 10, 2017 in Vietnam
Good morning Vietnam! We arrived to the capital without much of an itinerary but quickly found things to do that kept us busy for a few days.
To get familiar with the Old Town which is the heart of the city we met up with a local college student who in exchange for spending a few hours showing us around got to practice her English. She took us to a local market selling everything from wholesale items to fruits and vegetables and even seafood like live turtles and frogs! We were pretty grossed out by that but it was interesting none the less to see what other cultures find acceptable. We also stopped at the temple of the white horse where we learned more about the predominant religion in Vietnam which is based on legends and folklores rather than a god. And after bit of walking we decided to stop for a local favorite; egg coffee which as the name suggests is made with eggs instead of milk! Although we were skeptical if it'd taste good it turned out to be this delicious creamy coffee drink that was perfectly sweet. We wrapped up the tour in the French Quarter and parted ways with our new friend as she had to make her way to class.
Now that we were oriented in the city we walked around effortlessly without getting lost however we had to always mind the traffic and make sure we didn't get too distracted by gazing at food stalls or stores on the streets selling everything and anything you could imagine. Mitch's favorite street was the "Lowes" street which had store after store of tools and hardware.
We also visited the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" or Hoa Lo Prison which was built by the French when they ruled in Vietnam and later in history was used during the Vietnam War to keep American prisoners of war such as John McCain captive. The museum was full of propaganda and definitely offered a different take on the war than we learn about in America but that's what we expected. One thing we didn't expect though was to see how friendly the Vietnamese people are to Americans and tourist in general. It was nice to not feel too taken advantage of as a tourist as we've felt in other countries.
To top off our time in Hanoi we definitely enjoyed our fair share of Ban Bo: vermicelli and Banh Mi: pork sandwiches, 25 cent beer and more egg coffee!
Oh and how can I forget to mention we had the best $2 rental ever when we stumbled upon a night fair...a modified Hover Board that you cruised around the closed off streets on. Mitch raced the little kids while I didn't go as fast but once when I did I forgot how the brakes worked and almost went flying off. I survived and laughed it off as did the locals who saw me!Read more