On our flight from Siem Reap we had seen some wonderful cloud formations and presumably they followed us!
We were very pleased with our choice of hotel… the Elegance Diamond… they were very efficient! They arranged our Visa and our trip to HaLong bay.
They also have a great restaurant on their top floor the Gourmet Corner…… where we tried their Rice Pancake and Nems….
We had chosen our hotel because it is close to Hoan Kiem Lake
and also is on the edge of the Old Quarter so that we could easily explore it……..we hadn't read at that point about the chaotic traffic…….
It was very difficult to cross a street, almost impossible as there were motorbikes coming from all directions…….. and it was extremely difficult for this car to turn around, having made a wrong turn!
It was interesting to see the different streets which were initially named after the products they sold.
this is located in an old home….the stairs up to the second floor are rather precipitous!
It was a very charming place and the menu was interesting. However we did feel that there was a little confusion in the tastes!
We went early morning to see the Temple of Literature.….we actually got there before it opened…a first for us!
This allowed us to watch some Tai Chi in the adjacent park while waiting…….
It was built in 1070 and is the home of Hanoi's first university, opened in 1076……
It seemed as though every child in Hanoi was visiting that day…..…….
They were also lined up to go to Ho Chi Min Mausoleum…….thankfully! This was suggested as an alternative to my request to go to the Citadel…which seemed interesting as it wasn't as yet on the tourist route. However apparently there is nothing of note to see. I didn't like to tell our guide that I could think of nothing worse than to see an embalmed body, having seen Lenin's in Moscow once……no need to go!
The line of school children to get in meant it would have taken 2 hours to reach the entrance!
However there is a back entry for VIPs and our guide was able to persuade the guard at the entrance to let us in, as long as we didn't try to skip to the head of the queue! No problem!
It was very interesting to see the humble home Ho Chi Min lived in……….
...quite a contrast to the Presidential Palace, the old French Governor's house, on whose grounds it was built….. and where he had a right to live!