Monday, December 3, 2012


The girls had been saying ever since they arrived that they wanted to have bánh cuốn and finally this morning we did. At 6.30am on our way home from our walk Tiên asked the bánh cuốn breakfast lady near our lane what time she finished and she said around 8.30 - 9am.  So before 8.30 Katie and Hannah were up and we went and enjoyed another Vietnamese favourite - bánh cuốn

On the way home I stopped to watch these concrete detailers at work 

Next time I see this house it will look very grand.

 Today we visited interesting places in Hải Phòng...beginning with the 300 year old Hang Kenh Communal House.

 We were taking photos so Hannah and Katie insisted on one 'with Adam'.

 The timber in this House is beautifully carved and in excellent condition. 

The structural elements appear to be a fine grained hardwood that shows no sign of ageing even after 300 years - amazing... There is no warping or shrinking in the floor boards, which are 30cm wide, or the columns, which are massive. 

Seemed like an ideal opportunity to set up a photo of our handsome men... 

... but that proved a little more difficult than expected! 



SO co-operative.

We were mucking around taking photos, when to her great consternation, someone spotted a "wisdom highlight" in Katie's hair. 

Best friend Hanny came to the rescue and removed the offending component, 

Our next stop was a pagoda that was closed, but it had a gorgeous lotus pond...

Then we visited Du Hang Pagoda - built in 1672.

Handsome Tùng. the pink lotus lanterns...

By then we were all hungry, so we stopped off for mỳ vằn thắn... very hungry! 

Hannah was intrigued and Katie was horrified by the jars of wine on display.

After lunch we went to another pagoda...  how ornate is this gate!

 We had fun feeding popcorn to the goldfish ..

... they are released by people remembering their deceased loved ones, so there are thousands here.

Xuân said this statue is carved from a single piece of jade.


Tùng and Tuấn Anh

The guys then dropped Katie, Hannah and me off at the kindergarten where Toni is working so we could check it out ... and very impressive it is, too!!

How's this for an imaginative play area...

There are 800 children at this kindergarten, aged 3-5, and the underlying philosophy here is to teach them to be bi-lingual, so they all learn English! And you can see by their faces how much they are enjoying it... 

Lining up to take turns on the computer

doing the Hokey Pokey well behaved!!

They're loving it!

Toni is keen to establish connections with Universities in Australia to send Early Childhood Teaching students (like Katie...) here for their prac blocks. Of course Katie is seriously interested. Apparently they are a great company to work for, so maybe in the future.....

To round off an already full day, we went to Seamen for the buffet seafood dinner with our dashing escorts...

And rounded off the evening with another visit to the beaut karaoke bar with the brilliant lights...   I took lots of random photos in the dark while we were dancing, but most of them are not too flattering, so I will file them in the 'for personal viewing only' file  LOL.   But here are a couple that pass with a push.

And all too soon our last Monday was over.

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