Friday, November 16, 2012

Hà Nội - walkabout

Our second day in Hà Nội was spent walking through the Old Quarter soaking up all the sights and sounds ...

We stopped off for morning tea at Thuy Ta - "la patisserie on the lake"

Then continued the walk around the lake...

This is the bridge to Đền Ngọc Sơn (Temple of the Jade Mound) (circa 14th century)...

This turtle was killed in 1967 ... the one I saw in the lake last year is bigger still. 

Then we walked to Câu Gồ to introduce Adam and Hannah to one of our favourite street foods - bánh khúc

Now it's one of their favourites too.

This cheery basket seller was posing for a photo so we'd give him money...

And of course if you're in Hà Nội you have to see the Water Puppets.  It was a pleasant surprise to see that they had a whole new show from last time I was here... fresh and lively and just as enjoyable...

After the Water Puppets, I checked my phone and was very surprised to get a text message from Ann at VAIE to tell me that only Katie could stay at the house with me and Hannah and Adam would have to stay in a hotel because the police wouldn't give permission for them to stay with me because they aren't my family. I was stunned. I thought this was all approved weeks ago and here we were due to get to Hải Phòng tomorrow to have this dumped on us. So I phoned Mr Thanh, my local policeman and he said there was no problem with them staying at my place. Then I phoned Ann to tell her Mr Thanh would have the appropriate paperwork all sorted tomorrow only to be told that the permission was being denied by the Cultural Police, not the local police. Because the lease on the house is in the school's name, only people employed by the school and their families are allowed to stay there. Unbelievable!  I was livid. Poor Ann copped the full brunt of my disgust. I didn't take it quietly like a Vietnamese person would. Gene and Hannah both offered their homes should it come to that.

Khánh did his best to calm me down and we did some more browsing through the fascinating shops on our way back to the hotel so we could relax for a bit.  Then we met Toni at an Indian restaurant that she was very keen on ... I think it's called Ashanti.

Great food ... but not as good as Tandor, we reckon!

loved this picture on the wall 

Then one last stroll around the lake...


We passed a group of people dancing the Cha-cha so Adam and Katie 'took to the floor' and joined in. They used to learn ballroom dancing when they were in high school... and they haven't forgotten!

Balmy night, fabulous friends, fascinating city .... great start to Katie, Hannah and Adam's holiday

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