Saturday, October 12, 2013

Yings do Hau Lu & Tam Coc, Vietnam

Okay this is the last post for Vietnam.  The last worthy trip to blog is our trip out of Hanoi into the mountainous area.  There were two landmarks to visit - Hau Lu, which is a temple to one of the early emperors of Vietnam and Tam Coc, which is a river through some mountains.  

It was a day trip so we boarded the bus early at 8 am and was home by 6.  It took about 2 hours each way with a 15 pee-break in the middle.  

Our pee-break.  The disabled workers stitching up some artwork
for tourists on the way to the bathroom.

The work was quite good but way overpriced.

I'm lucky I didn't get shot for this one.  There was a few VIPs
going through between these camo jeeps.

Hau Lu entrance.

Another, less-than-exciting entrance.

This was cool!  A foot-long lizard.

They were serving beer, whoopie pies, soda, fruit to the gods.
A happy bunch of gods they must be - or at least happy workers
who get to eat the god's leftovers.

Rice being dried on the street.

Tam Coc - 2-3 to a boat plus the rower.

Talented leg-rowers.  He didn't say a word so
he wasn't much of a guide...

The ladies boat.

Some temple on the mountain.

Under the rocks.

Not much clearance.

It was leaking from the ceiling.

Of course, the souvenir shop at the turn-around point.

What a tough job.  Did anyone tell him the war is over?

A abandoned house.  River access only.


An ice cream shop.  The only one we saw in town.

Drinking with the locals.  This was an alley and
I don't think that we were really welcome.  We had
our 60 cent beers and left.

A nice bike ride in the Tam Coc area.

There were people living in the area.

Watch out for the soldiers hiding in the paddies.

We rode on dikes with the farmland below us.

This was a guide, Min.

Cool country-side shot.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Yings in Hanoi, Vietnam

We got back late on Tuesday from Halong Bay after our 3.5 hour bus ride.  It was a low key night, just some local food and some walking around.  The next morning we had breakfast at the Art Boutique Hotel then bought a few things and ate some more food on the street.  The activities for the day were to shop a little, go to the History Museum, the pagoda park and then the Water Puppets.

We were a little surprised at the chaotic street traffic.  There was huge amounts of beeping, swerving and jams all over.  The streets were narrow and not in good condition.  It was a little hard to walk with the kids since the scooters parked all over place, there were restaurant seatings on the sidewalks and very few traffic lights for crossing.

Water Buffalo

The view from our hotel balcony.  Narrow and tall buildings.

Right across from us.

These were donut-like pastries.  We bought some but didn't
particularly like them.

Power lines were a mess in the Old Quarter part of town.

A music store.  This was a harmonica type instrument.  She
could play it well but we had no clue.

The kids loved the toy store!  Baba didn't like the prices in there.
The prices in Vietnam were cheap but the street vendors were not as interested as we expected in coming down in their prices.  There were a few shops that we didn't buy anything at and that a couple shops down the road offered us 1/2 price.  
The pagoda in the park.

Opera House - quite old.

Hanoi Stock Exchange - humm, don't know what stocks...

They call the Vietnam war here the 'Revolution' (I think). 

We took an over-priced ($4) ride back to our

Mark sat on my lap.

The water puppet show.  Interesting and unique show.  The
puppets were about 1 - 2.5' tall and on long poles.  

Many puppets out at the same time.  Choreographed to music
and lights.  A fun $5 show and these were the expensive seats.

They had some old puppets in the lobby.

This was a small Pizza and Pasta restaurant.  The kids had
burgers and adults had Vietnamese food.  After dinner
we had our picture taken by their photographer who was
updating their TripAdvisor site.

Mama balancing fruit on the street.

On the street.

From our Art Boutique balcony.
The weather was nice on the 3rd day including a nice sunset.

Local noodle restaurant.  $2.75 bowl and $0.75
Hanoi Beer.

The noodle place.
The monks heading into the monastery near the
water puppet show. 

Pho is only eaten for Breakfast. This was at the hotel.