16 Mar: Hanoi History

Hanoi has a population more than 6 million, which makes it bigger than Seattle. We observed quite a lot of construction during our 30-minute ride into town from the airport.

Our hotel is in the Old Quarter, full of narrow streets, colonial French rowhouses, and hordes of motor scooters. After lunch we did a walkabout in this part of town, visiting some unique shops. Prices here run the entire range from pennies to hundreds of dollars; that makes for quite a mix!

The national founding legend of Vietnam has a king-Arthur-like plot line involving a hero, Le Loi, a holy turtle, and a special sword; the sword was used to end the thousand year Chinese occupation. We visited one of the turtles today at his temple. This is a small one. There’s an even bigger one still in the lake: 100 years old and 450 pounds when last seen in 2011.

Dinner for our last night in Vietnam was in an old French colonial residence, now a terrific restaurant.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


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