Money Matters - Prevailing Exchange Rate @ Airport
The foreign exchange at the airport gives reasonable rate, in comparison to the hotels in the city. The 2 foreign exchange counter at the arrival area of Noi Bai have almost same conversions..
As of October 6, 2006 this is the money exchange:
1. USD (1,2,5,10,20$) 16,015 dong
2. USD (50,100$) 16,035 dong
3. Japan Yen 132.73 dong
4. Australian Dollar 11,648 dong
5. Canadian Dollar 13,814 dong
6. Great Britain Pounds 29,365 dong
7. Singapore Dollar 9,877 dong
8. Euros 19,858 dong
9. Hongkong Dollar 2,003 dong
10. Thai Baht 409.21 dong
Ask the cashier to give you on small denomination, as having 100,000 dong is hard to use for payments on small purchases.
DUC WHARF, HUONG PAGODA
This was a fantastic experience with many different people there. From Hanoi tourists can reach the Huong Pagoda by taking a car to Ben Đuc, the entrance of Huong Son Range in My Duc district, Ha Tay province. From there they take a boat along Yen spring.
If you travel in the early morning when there is still fog, you feel as if you were in paradise. It is interesting that the water of Yen sping is very clear, but its wharf is named Đục, which means muddy. So when tourists ask why, residents explain that their ancestors wished to allude to their belief that before starting the trip to the pagoda, the souls of visitors are muddy. They become clean during the boat trip to the pagoda.
During the trip you can see Yen spring with the green of rice fields on both banks, trees that provide a blaze of red flowers and the twinkling mountains and hills beyond. Along the stream are mountains with the shape of the mythical dragon, kylin and tortoise. This way leads to Cho Quay, the waterway's terminal, where Cho Pagoda stands. From the quay pilgrims can walk about 5km on a mountain path to Huong Pagoda or they just can take the lift.
The Huong Pagoda Festival, Vietnam's biggest religious festival, lasts from the sixth day of the first to the third Lunar month (around end of January to April).
Cheap shopping for drink and foodstuffs.
This Intimex is quite easy to find. Just head across to the other side of the road from Hoan Kiem Lake on Le Thai To, go down the alley.
Just before you enter there is a desk where you must leave any bag with the attendant. You will be given a ticket with a number on it. Your bag is then put in one of the lockers. It is completely safe to do this. Don't lose your ticket for you will need it to get your bag back! Bottled water, soft drinks, crisps, chocolate. Other general foodstuff. Water 2L; (depending on brand) about 7,000 VND.
Pepsi can; 4,500 VND. Pepsi 2L; 10,000 VND.
Water Puppet Show
The last puppet show starts at 8pm and ticket has to be purchased by 7.30pm.
If you wish to take pics, buy the 1st class ticket for 40,000 VND. The gift includes a CD of the tunes played during the show.
Take the fan as a souvenier and a broucher after you climb the steps to the theater. It will tell you every scence of the show.
The show is in Vietnamese so you will have to just see the action of the puppet and listen to the singing and musicians that are performing live on the extreme left of the stage.
I thought it would be quite boring to listen to people singing in a foreign language and see just some puppets moves.
But when I was there, it was so entertaining and well worth the 40,000 VND that I have paid (2nd row seats). causal
Get your own swan!
These looked sooo tempting -- but there was so much to see and ... obviously you can rent a swan, here on West Lake, and enjoy a slow paddle around. The place where you can rent these is very near Tran Quoc Pagoda.