Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hanoi - capital of Vietnam

The picture below is of me standing in front of the old cathedral. Looks more like Europe eh? The rest of the city was a reminder that I was actually in Vietnam - jam packed with people, shops and of course noisy motorbikes . Numerous street side cafes, with small plastic picnic chairs and tables line the sidewalks. On adjacent streets in the Old Quarter, many high end boutiques and French-fusion restaurants.
Maybe the best experience in Hanoi was jogging in the rain around Hoam Kiem Lake, location of the red Huc bridge. Also, the Backpacker's Hostel. Great place for meeting other travelers- mainly Aussies, Brits and Canadians during happy hour on roof-top deck.
Hanoi is famous for water puppetry. 1,000 year old art form, a unique and slightly bizarre cultural experience. Paired with traditional Vietnamese music, live musicians, green water and puppets of all sorts - buffaloes, swans, dragons...
Hand painted drums used in water puppet performance.