Hanoi =/= Driving

Our initial plan looked too optimistic; we are running out of time and that’s why we have decided to fly from Vientiane to Hanoi and to skip Cambodia for the sake of the beaches in South Thailand 😉

Surprisingly, I loved Hanoi from the first seconds we entered in the capital. Hanoi is the nightmare of every driving teacher, every orderliness maniac-obsessed, or simply people that care about their lives’ safety. Nonetheless, I like it.

Thomas’ excitement when he hears the word “banh bao” which is a kind of white bread filled with something that should be meat

The majority of Hanoi’s traffic is composed of scooters and motorcycles. Thanks to the agility of this means of transportation, drivers consider themselves allowed to use sidewalks as a proper lane, or to simply use every part of the lane in both senses. Consequently, people have now a gene mutation – everyone has four eyes to detect both possible mortal dangers, as well as tourists to scam.

Together with normal traffic there is also a train that passes in the middle of the city few times per day.

The strongest storm we have had so far

What did we do in Hanoi a part from staying alive?

Hanoi was an amazing refreshing dynamic city after Laos’ tranquility. The capital has a rich historical past, and it is especially important to remember that the city is the symbol of Vietnam’s fight for independence. Highlight of our visit was the Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, which was created to honour the president of Vietnam who won the fight for independence from France in 1945. He was also the main leader during the years of the secret war started by the USA.

A part from its museums, Hanoi is full of lakes where people perform street shows, and where food carts survive next to restaurants.

There is a small fan between the legs of our chef to cool down the cooker

We had the chance to visit the water puppet show. The show is performed in a pool of water, and behind the curtains puppeteers stand in the water to control the puppets using bamboo sticks. At the sides of the stage a traditional Vietnamese orchestra plays music and sings.

The show is performed in the water because it is linked with the cultivation and harvest of rice – these shows used to be performed in villages straight into the rice paddy!

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