Sunday, December 03, 2006

Hanoi - bamboo ladders

Here is a street scene from the Old Quarter of Hanoi. In this street they sell bamboo products such as ladders. In other vstreets they sell either shoes CD's, hardware, fruit, whisky or clothes or whatever else, all shops selling similar things found next to each other. Everywhere very busy by daylight, after a slightly later start than down south. At 10 pm however the streets are empty again.

It has been cold and grey whilst we have been in Hanoi so everyone has been dressed in winter clothing and woolly hats. The people seemed at first to be more reserved than down south but we have found themn to be every bit as friendly, certainly the people at the hotel we are staying at - the Hanoi Blue Star Hotel, and the places we have eaten, going very much against the stereotype of unfriendly notherners. The city has balls and we like it and despite what we had written earlier we are not going to have too much time here as we have a change of plan.

My uncle suggested that we make the same trip that he made nine years ago, travelling by 4wd to the mountains towards the border with Laos, visiting places such as Ha Son and Dien Bien Phu and Mai Song before joining up with our tour of Sa Pa and Bac Ha. We found an excvellent person to help us on this mission, namely Hoang Tuan Anh of Vietnam Geographic Holiday (http://www.geoholiday.net). It took most of the afternoon to realise but we now have a plan. The main question is whether or not we make a trip for the last couple of days down to Ha Long Bay. We have a driver and a Toyota Land Cruiser (from 1988) for five days, all accommodation, meals and entrace fees included for just $ 460 or $ 230 each, which is a lot cheaper than the rpices we were paying for similar in Africa. A pity to have to leave Hanoi in such a hurry, but we have spent quite a bit of time in towns and cities and it will be nice to spend time in the mountains and visiting the minority tribes. Thanks, Uncle Malcolm for the suggestion. We hope to be able to keep in touch in the coming days, but it may be more blog than photos. We'll see.

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for comment on Blog - last night Ingelin and I spent an hour catching up on your photos - better than a DVD! There really were some wonderful photos - and love the ladders in this pic. Still hoping to see you over Christmas.

03 December, 2006 23:38  
Anonymous wendy said...

ran across your blog through a google alert...glad i did...nothing to do with the google alert i had set but i'm glad i got and decided to click on it...thanks so much for sharing all the photos...and stories. the internet is such an awesome tool to the world beyond what we can see everyday...i will have to share your site with my two boys 14 and 15 so they can see other parts of the world through your eyes...once again thanks! love this photo and all the others...the bright colors and aged and worn look of this building caught my eye...i'm a designer so what can i say...

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