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Vietnam - October 2019 - Cruising the streets of Hanoi

Added: Tuesday, November 19th 2019 at 5:29am by Maria

My friends Jo and Paul from England finally arrived on Friday at lunchtime and after checking into their rooms at the hotel, we headed off to get some lunch.

We found this nice little restaurant/bar and ordered our food and drinks.

Paul and I had (you'll never guess) Vietnamese spring rolls, I had a mango smoothie while they each had a nice cold glass of beer.

Jo (who is a vegetarian) settled for a bowl of beautifully fresh salad and some garlic bread.

After lunch we decided to cruise the streets and check out the shops and merchandise and found lots of very interesting things to look at.

one of the things we found very interesting, they actually cater to the American expat and tourist community celebrating Halloween!!

There were heaps of shops selling all things Halloween, from masks to lanterns to costumes...

some even had "scary" stuff on display....

the shops on the streets were very well organized into specific merchandise, there was the tin and aluminium street selling all things tin and aluminium, mainly household appliances and utensils etc.

also repair shops.....places where Occupational Health and Safety Officers would have a field day no doubt!!

Paul and Jo marvelling at some of the things in the shop....

no there wouldnt be any room in the suitcases for any of it Paul!!!!

You will see in this video, another street dedicated to bamboo structures like stairs and trellises....


We came across more streets with shops selling clothes, shoes and handbags, another street dedicated to souvenirs and all things Vietnamese...

another street selling only fabrics and textiles.....

and another street with stores selling one of my favorites, beautifully painted lacquer ornaments...

Later that evening, after having a couple of hours rest at the hotel, we went out for  more "window shopping"  while deciding which restaurant to go to for our dinner.

Here's Paul checking out the electrical stuff....

Lighting ornaments are so pretty.

we saw a couple of fruit vendor ladies chatting.....

and we came across the very famous tourist attraction of the Old Quarter...Train Street!!

Unfortunately, this tourist drawcard was closed two weeks before we got here, so there wasnt much left to see.

I will tell you about Train Street in the next post, it used to be such an incredible tourist attraction and many are terribly disappointed that it's been closed down.

Lots of tourists come to Hanoi to experience it so they are disappointed and of course the locals who depended on tourist dollars from this attraction are also very disappointed.

Jo and Paul were told about it back in England and they were looking forward to seeing it and of course were terribly disappointed as well.

All the walking around made us very hungry so we found a restaurant that became our favorite for it's great food and service and very close proximity to our hotel.

It's called Countryside Restaurant and it's also a Vietnamese Cuisine Cooking School for western tourists.

We ordered a few dishes to share.....

Fish baked in banana leaf with lots of herbs and rice noodles...

A stir-fried mushrooms and vegetables dish for our vegetarian...

roast duck with vegetables, pickles and dipping sauce with a bowl of rice

Vegetarian spring rolls..

Spicy braised pork and onions..

and fried bananas with a rich dark caramel sauce and ice cream for dessert.

Paul is a HUGE eater........

Needless to say, our first day together in this fascinating city of Hanoi was amazing!!

(to be continued....)

User Comments


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This is all so exciting!  All that food, all the abundance of merchandise at every turn. All the moped action and not many vehicles at all but I knew that.  That railroad track in the middle of the street looks so out of place! Too bad it was closed! That's a tour I would have loved seeing.  There is certainly no dull moments there in Hanoi!

We had so much fun in Hanoi Dani, never a dull moment for sure!! I am posting a blog on Train Street, wait till you see...you will be gob-smacked!!...lol.

I guess you are not on a tour with a group then, or maybe later? Some of this still looks the same from 1974. I wonder why they closed the Train District? That is sad. Bro. Doc

No, group tours are not really my thing Bro Doc. I've only done two of them but mostly do all the sight-seeing on my own. In Asia it is so easy and so inexpensive to book a vehicle/driver for a whole day so that is what I prefer to do.

I am posting a blog about Train Street, I will try and find as much information as I can.

I see. I saw the that blog on the train. It makes you wonder coming that close they haven't hit anything or go off the tracks. Bro. Doc

loved the colourful street market...i would like the spring rolls too....the shops and cyclists....saw the  tram lines xx

it's a fascinating city, so worth a visit!!

Love those pictures.  It gives me a feeling of bering right there with you.

Armchair traveling is safe and inexpensive, you will get to see so much of Vietnam in these blogs...{#basic-laugh.gif}

What an amazing place.  l would love to visit there.  The pics of all that tasty food is making me very hungry indeed.

you aint seen nothing yet!!  Vietnam is stunningly beautiful and definitely worth a visit!!..{#basic-laugh.gif}

interesting layout of the city.  I don't think I have ever seen a city that divided up as to businesses...streets for different kinds.

this is what makes Asian cities/countries so fascinating and experiencing the difference is all part of the adventure...{#basic-laugh.gif}

Yep, I can see that.

When your trips come to an end, it must be a very sad time for you. This is all amazing... and the food... it all looks delicious. Paul MUST BE a big eater, that's a lotta food. mmmmmmmm

Bikes, scooters and motorcycles seem to be the main mode of transportation. 

Food in Asia is always a treat and it's very rare that we finish every crumb on the plates, in most Asian cultures it is respectful to leave a little food behind so that the host will not feel bad that they did not serve enough, as it would appear if all the plates are licked clean so to speak...{#basic-laugh.gif}

Bikes are indeed the main mode of transport in Asia, there's millions and millions of them.  In Hanoi the sidewalks are not for pedestrians, they are for the bikes to be parked safely off the road...lol.

Very interesting.

Have you ever wanted to visit any place in Asia?

Yes, and I'd probably be shipping a boatload of items back home. {#basic-cool.gif}

{#rofl.gif} {#rofl.gif} {#rofl.gif} you wont be the only one....lol.


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