Jan 10, 2007

Hanoi - we like it

At this time of year economy class was impossible to get so we ended up flying from Hue to Hanoi via business class. Gotta say the sandwiches weren't a whole lot better but the seats were great, the service was a bit more upscale and the VIP waiting area was pretty cool. Was the VIP area fancy? No. But it did have free drinks and snacks, here is a closeup shot of breakfast, VIP style. A $10US taxi ride from the airport into downtown, a quick check-in to the hotel (more on that later) and we went looking for lunch. Doreen scooped a good spot "Little Hanoi" right on the corner of a very busy intersection.

The baguette sandwiches are huge and the quality of the fillings is fantastic, here's a closeup of a chicken tandoori baguette. What's interesting about this place is the fact they have a security guy out front of the restaurant to stop street vendor's and tout's from hanging out - we've rarely seen this throughout our travels. It allowed us to sit on a concrete block out front and just watch the motorbikes and vendors go by.

We wandered down to the main lake in Hanoi to look around and ended up going across the Huc Bridge to look at a very famous pagoda.

Pretty soon we were meeting locals, courtesy of the boys. Take two cute western kids and let them run around a downtown lake, for sure it's camera time. The boys were getting handed around like hot potatoes to get their picture taken with a boyfriend, girlfriend, couples, you name it.

Like I said, two kids and nearly everyone stops. This older gentleman stopped to give the boys some miniature apples and practice his English. These two girls hung out so long and ignored their boyfriends so much I thought there was going to be a domestic dispute. When one of the girls left her boyfriend to come and see the boys for a third time I thought he was going to dump her. Time to go back to the hotel.

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) or Hanoi? We like Hanoi.