We had a nice stop along Xa Phu Dien as we biked our way out of Hanoi.
I thought the cacti along the beachfront to be interesting. I wasn’t aware that the area would be that arid.
Here we came across a nice selection of fishing boats from the nearby village.
When we visited Hanoi, we came across the monument for John McCain.
The monument reads;
On October 26, 1967 in Truc Bach Lake, the people and military of Hanoi captured alive U.S. Air Force pilot John Sney Macan, whose A-4 jet was shot down onto Yen Phu electric plant.
A small correction was that McCain flew for the Navy, not the Air Force. Notwithstanding the ethics of the war, he was a hero. Even if he was captured.
You can get just about anything from the Hanoi Market. And the best way to keep things of course would be to keep them alive. The net full of frogs is a good example. Tastes just like chicken, so I’m told.
Nice little bucket of fish ready for filleting.
Here we have some very fresh eels ready for the BBQ.
So for the first day of the official bike tour, we get to be biked around. Much safer to use an experienced person when going through Hanoi traffic. It can be horrific looking, but it always ran smoothly.
Our first stop was the farmers market. Everything was freshly butchered, so refrigeration was not really an issue.
They had an amazing selection clams to choose from.
And of course the fish were still alive and kicking so to speak.
Brent and I managed to snag a couple of free coupons for egg coffee. Yes, raw egg dropped into your coffee like cream apparently. Quite tasty.
The restaurant is actually on the second floor and there is only a small alley to access it. Something that no one would head down without someone with you.
In Hanoi, I tried to capture the amazing dance of the scooters. How they manage to mingle about is amazing.
In the evening, people gather around the lake. A central spot for socialization.
A couple were having their photos taken for their upcoming celebrations. So I couldn’t resist.
Brent and I are just in the process of looking over the courtyard to the entrance of the National University.
We grab one more photo at the entrance to the University.
We leave the grounds and start walking back to our hotel. You can see that the University is completely enclosed by stone walls. We must have looked like we knew what we were doing since we were stopped by other tourists looking for a way in to the University.
Scooter transporst is really the way the majority of people get around in Hanoi. Don’t forget. Don’t show any fear.
Here is an interior shot of the mall I had described earlier. There are numerous car dealerships inside. The pockets of wealth are amazing considering the poverty you see everywhere else.
Brent and I continued our tour of the National Museum in Hanoi. Some of the ancient texts are shown below.
The courtyard holds displays of various graduates. The Plaque show below describes how they retained the dedication steles of some of the oldest graduates. These were erected on turtles. One of the four holy creatures.
The Dragon was a great attraction. I attempted to find out a bit mroe about the urn. But you can see the dragon relief on top of the building in the background. The dragon is one of the countries four holy creatures.
We continued our visit at the National University. We entered the fourth courtyard and the altar to Confucius shown here. I have added the plaque which gives a good outline as to how kind and clever the gentleman was.
The turtles outside the altar are associated with the graduates of the University. The golden turtle below can be found right beside Confucius. I did some research and there are plenty of photos of the golden turtle but I did not find its direct association. So I can only assume it may celebrate the Confucius students that first accompanied him in his travels.
As we continued our tour of Hanoi at the Quoc Tu Giam National University, we stopped to view some of the impressive Bonsai plants.
You can see that the plants are arranged in an island format. Each one seemed to suggest a different story
We did a bit of wandering one night. The multicolored street night life was quite exotic. And agressive. I had to disentangle myself several times from the various people that would not take no for an answer.
We eventually had to get out of there intact and get back on to the main street. This was a bit more calm with some nice music and of course the local beer.