Friday, November 30, 2012

Shopping in Hà Nội

Katie, Hannah and I decided the best way to shop for souvenirs and Christmas presents for family and friends back home was to go to Hà Nội for the day. And today was the designated day. Xuân escorted us, bless his heart... and didn't mention till we were on our way home after a HUGE day of shopping that his shoes were very uncomfortable!!

We caught the 6 o'clock train and arrived in Hà Nội around 8.30am and caught a taxi to the Old Quarter. We each had a list of people to buy gifts for so we determined to be very decisive... If we saw something we liked, we would buy it, for there was no time for re-visiting or comparison shopping.

And shop we did!  We were so focused we took hardly any photos...
... two of the streetscape...
  and one of the lotuses flowering in the lake.

We found Joma's after a while and stopped for brunch... couldn't help missing Will. He used to love this place and spent many a Monday vegeing out here. I think he will be back one day... Việt Nam has a way of capturing your heart...

We had a seriously successful day of shopping. At this gorgeous silk shop Hannah bought a stunning silk patchwork quilt for her bed with matching cushions and pillowslips which are to die for.  By 3.30 pm we had crossed off all the names on our lists (amazing!) and that's when Xuân casually mentioned that his feet were in agony!  He had been a fabulous help translating for us and bargaining down the prices, making the whole experience so much easier for us!  We went to Tandor Indian Restaurant and had an absolutely delicious early dinner, then caught a taxi to the bus station.

So many packages to squeeze onto the bus ... VERY pleased with our efforts!

And here's all the stuff we bought... so many great gifts!!

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