August 09, 2007

Vietnam: August 2nd Hanoi

Not really sure that this constitutes a real view over the Old Quarter, but that wasn't such a big deal anyway since I'd come here to look around Hanoi rather than gaze longingly from a window. The breakfast wasn't that great either, but again I wasn't complaining ~ I just wouldn't come back here later in the trip. After the rain let up it was time to go out and explore Hanoi for the first time.

At 8:30 in the streets were bursting with activity and bikes were streaming through the streets making crossing the road a somewhat perilous experience. The few junctions that actually have traffic lights have seemingly little effect on what happens on the street, so you have to step out and weave your way between the oncoming bikes and hope for the best.

After I initially spending some time getting my bearings, I decided to head for Hoan Kiem lake, passing the Martyrs' Monument on the way. Hoan Kiem is one of the most famous landmarks in the city, and the paths around the lakeside are filled with tourists and Hanoians taking a leisurely stroll as well as numerous locals trying to peddle goods or run a tourist scam. In the northern part of the lake is a small island which houses the Ngoc Son Temple, and the view across the lake and the city is quite spectacular from there.

Entrance to the Ngoc Son Temple.

Looking over the lake to the Old Quarter.

Looking south over the lake.

The bridge to the temple.

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