Prepare to fight for the fatherland!
The Chinese invaded Viet Nam several times, the French colonised Tonkin and Annam, the Americans “napalmed” villages and cities and defoliated thousands of square kilometres of forests, but all learned to know the bitter taste of defeat!
Military training is apparently a very important custom in Vietnam, and walking in the streets you may often come across groups of young people, school pupils attending military training. The photographs here have been taken in public parks (in the morning), on several occasions south and east of Hoan Kiem lake.
I personally HATE militarism, military marches, weapons, uniforms, “homogeneous” crowds or herds etc. etc. . . but have respect for freedom, people who defend their faith, ideas, beliefs, their group or person. . . well, no space here to discuss about! Thinking about with historical background and examples is part of real tourism to me. And here, my understanding is that recent history may in some way be responsible for these brainwashing sessions, which are felt necessary by government and people. Sad but I can understand in some way
Ah, the brainwashing session is not that bad, the young people smile and wink at the foreigner looking at them!(Picture5)
Enjoy the wonderful smiles
Who does not like to be smiled at? V of victory? Probably the one of Viet Nam. These young persons greeted me on my day of arrival in Hanoi, when I walked around Hoan Kiem Lake; is it not nice to meet welcoming people like them? They offered me an apple and sweets, but speaking with them was really difficult; anyway, we found a way to communicate.
The young souvenir seller on Picture 2 was not at all upset or angry when I refused to pay for the photograph (many people in tourist frequented areas ask for photographs, taking them, or you, but for money; it was the first and last pay-photo experience).
The lady on picture 3 looked at me for a while, and when I made a sign I will photograph her, she acknowledged, with a head sign, so, there she is on VT.
Mother and daughter on picture 4 laughed a lot at the foreigner they met in a small park near Metropole Hotel; after 10 mn “conversation”, they decided I keep that one, and the young lady on picture 5 laughed even more, looking at us looking at the pictures and making big gestures (unusual in south Asia, as I know from my Asian experiences).
Tip here might be: smile, smile “with your heart”, people smile back, and it is wonderful!
Thuong Mai Trang Tien Shopping Centre
Thuong Mai Trang Tien Shopping Centre is located along Hang Bai Street at the southern area of Hoan Kiem Lake. This is a relatively high class shopping centre as compared to places like the Old Quarter.
Walking the Old Quarter
If your staying in the Old Quarter of Hanoi (which I would recommend the atmosphere is great) you’ll spend quite a bit of time walking… there is just no way to see the area and absorb its great atmosphere.
Many of the guidebooks have great walking tours BUT for a less stressful day, I would suggest wandering around between the Hoan Kiem Lake (which is the South end of the old Quarter)…and Dong Xuan Market (which is the Northh End) Both are large landmarks that are pretty easy to spot…if you really want to see all the sights just consult a map when your next to something that looks important (like a temple)…the area isn’t that big and you’ll eventually find everything of interest that way.
When you get too tired to walk anymore Cyclos are inexpensive and easy to find in this area
la la la
Big Wayne's new place, as always the food here is wonderful. Small and cozy sort of mediteranean food, Wayne has built up a dedicated following of expats in town. If he has rabbit on the menu you should try it.