Hanoi - Flowers in the spring
Peach (Hoa Ðào) in Tet Holiday
Tet is the most important and popular holiday and festival in Vietnam. It is the Vietnamese New Year based on Lunar calendar (in the end of January or in February). At Tet every house is usually decorated by hoa ðào – peach flower (Prunus persica) in Hanoi. U also can see these trees in many streets or in peach flower villages e.g Nhat Tan, Quang Ba, Phu Thuong only 2 - 3 kilometers from Old Quarters
Bauhinia (Hoa Ban)
The bauhinia flowers are symbolized for the Northwest region of Vietnam, the faithful in love. They bloom in the spring (usually in February) along Bac Son street (near Bac Son monument), Hoan Kiem lake (Hang Khay - Dinh Tien Hoang corner), Grand Theatre,...
Dalbergia tonkinensis (Hoa Sưa)
In Hanoi, no young people don't know/love Dalbergia tonkinensis. This kind of tree only bloom in few weeks in the spring when the weather is still cold and foggy (in the end of February and the beginning of March). These trees are in Botanic Garden, DongDa hillock, Lenin Park (in front of Military Museum), Tran Hung Dao street, Phan Chu Trinh street, Phan Chu Trinh street, Phan Dinh Phung street,...
Bombax ceiba (Hoa Gạo - Rice Flower)
Bombax ceiba is commonly known as cotton tree or tree cotton. Red flowers with 5 petals appear in the spring before the new foliage. There is only 1 or 2 bombax trees beside Hoan Kiem. The most known is bambax trees along Yen Spring on the way to Huong Pagoda (Perfume Pagoda) or near Thay Pagoda (Master Pagoda), Tram Pagoda,... In metropolitan, only 1 or 2 trees besides Hoan Kiem lake.
When walking the Old Quarter of Hanoi, I could hear some Birds singing. There, above the street stall, was a Bird in a Cage. From then on, I started to look up and take note, I saw quite a few more, great pets for people who live in units.
Just down the street from the weekend Sapa Market up a hill you will find the Friendly Restaurant. It is a nice place to have a meal for a good price. The waitress and hostess are quite sweet and like to joke and have a good time with their patrons. The food is nothing to write home about, but you can't beat the hospitality.
Looking from above
I could not push through the crowds to enjoy the show and decided to beat them to it. I went up a building that housed many restaurants and picked one that can offer me the "window seat". From there, I saw the show sipping my glass of cold diet coke, without fighting for a space. You can also look at the traffic and observe how the locals wriggled through their way in the busy traffic. "They live at the edge!" Casual.
Old fashioned luxury!
Old cars have always some charm; the Citroen Traction of the Hotel Metropole look wonderful in good shape.
In Viet Nam, former French colony, French old cars can be seen here and there in the countryside and in cities; people here told me that few years ago, Traction were still working as collective taxis, linking the cities; it seems this time is over.
The two Traction on the main picture are two different models, a B15 on the left and a B11 on the right. Leather seats, a driver with a flat cap, refreshments in the car, lots of space for the legs, characteristic noise of the four-cylinder engine, . . . . yes, there is some charm!
Hotel Metropole organizes city tours in these cars, welcomes customers at the airport with these cars. Travellers can hire these cars for custom city tours for 25-30 US$/hour; expensive, but for playing the old colonialist for one or two hours, it may be worth.
Enquiries: Hotel Metropole, 15, Ngo Quyen street