Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday, January 14, 2018

ascending dragon

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:51 PM
Hà Nội (ancient name Thăng Long,"rising dragon" over the red river) - arrived in a rather gloomy day with grey sky and quite cold. the ride to the hotel took almost an hour, the usual southeast asian city traffic coupled with lots of road constructions. people said hanoi was one of the most beautiful cities in the world and I wondered why. narrow streets, the french colonials lacked impressive architecture, not one single monument stood out. Nothing in particular to see in the old town. Instead of visiting the presidential palace, which only opened to the public in the morning and the line was over an hour long, according to our local guide, we got talked into visiting the ethnology museum instead. Sour point as I very much would have liked to see the palace. The museum itself wasnt impressive but the reproduction of the Cham's houses (first time I've heard of them) in the outdoor garden was quite interesting. Didnt really enjoy the Hoa Lo prison, the hanoi hilton. It was scary as they put human statues right in front of the prison cells so you'd get a shock if you peeked into the cells. Much like the ones in phnom penh, they were simply eerie. The temple of literature wasnt particularly interesting either for me. It was but a scaled down version of a Chinese temple. It got colder as the day went on. Thuy took us to the phở 10 lý quốc sư, the best pho in town. This place, frequented by locals and tourists, we had to wait in line and just grab any available spot on any table. We sat with a local girl and a singaporean tourist, and was told this place was the most popular pho in town. I've ordered the well done beef and it was good but not excellent by any means, although the singaporean girl declared she never had better. I've skipped the dinners and just stayed in the hotel room to read 'vulgar favors' which I couldnt put down. totally fascinated by this spree killer's life story.

The May de Ville hotel offered great hospitality with very friendly and attentive staff. My room faced a side street but still very noisy all day and night. The bathroom was enclosed in a translucent glass which I didnt mind but the door didnt quite close all the way and with the poor ventilation, after using the bathroom, the smell and steam permeated into the room. all the complimentary room amenities, toothbrush, combs, razors, cotton swaps, shower caps and kettle with free coffee and tea, of course. Wifi was good. didnt expect anything less in a southeast asian hotel.

The Eva flight over was very comfortable. The food was excellent although the entertainments lacked any good movies. The 11 hours to Taipei flew by. The Taoyuan international airport was dingy, dark, with only high end stores and very few restaurants or cafes. Hard to find a place to sit. the 3 hrs flight to hanoi again got by quickly, with an excellent meal. Will probably fly Eva again tho.

Hà Nội photos:

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