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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hanoi Highlights

The last destination on our Vietnam trip was the country's capital - Hanoi. We (sadly) left the peace and quiet of Hoi An and took a commuter flight up to Hanoi for our final four days in this amazing country.

Our first full day there we went on a tour of Hanoi and saw pretty much the whole city.  Our hotel was in the Old Quarter, which made for a lively and colorful stay. The quarter is jam packed with people, scooters (obviously), restaurants and shops.

Some of the highlights from Hanoi?

Going to see Ho Chi Minhs Mausoleum...

thats a big building for one little guy
and seeing this crazy long line of people waiting to see Uncle Ho...

We took a rickshaw ride around the city

We saw a half a dozen couples having their wedding pictures taken. Vietnamese couples have their formal pictures taken before the wedding, and often the bride will wear a brightly colored dress. They go to all the major sites and to posh buildings and hotels to have these photos taken.

Considering we had our wedding photos taken in Central Park and The Plaza in NYC - I can certainly relate. Too bad I didn't have a hot pink dress to wear in my photos. That would have been fun. And slightly My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding-ish.

Anyway - I while I was taking a picture of the happy (?) couple....

Brian was taking a picture of their photographer...

And Brian noticed the interesting set up of power lines...

that looks safe
On our first day in Hanoi we went out for a walk around the Old Quarter near our hotel and Brian made an amazing discovery.

Pappa Roti.

What is Pappa Roti? We didn't know. All we knew was that there was a sweet, warm smell wafting in front of the shop. Our first bite of these warm buns, fresh out of the oven with is crunchy custard top and melted butter center...

To quote Rachel Zoe -

I die.

It was all over after that.  We quickly learned that splitting one bun was not enough. We each had to have our own and would go once, sometimes twice, a day. We had to stop ourselves from camping out front and buying trays of fresh, hot buns out of the oven.

I have to stop there, I'm afraid the drool is going to damage my computer.

Another highlight of Hanoi was watching the people, the traffic, the energy of the city.

We found a cafe perched high above one of the main intersections and would sit there for hours, me with my passion fruit juice and Brian with his cold beer, watching the city go by.


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