Friday, September 30, 2022

Streets and Markets of Old Hanoi

 We follow the Ceramic Mosaic Mural up toward Hanoi's old town then turn into the streets and markets of the old district.  The market stalls offer a little of everything, from textiles and household goods to fruit, vegetables, fish, and meat.

Streets of old Hanoi

Shops and markets in the old town

Near the top of the old town, the Dong Xuan Market brings shops and stalls together under one roof.  Originally built by the French administration in 1889, the market has been renovated several times, most recently in 1994 after a fire destroyed much of the site.

Cho Dong Xuan

Just outside the market, small food stalls are set upon the sidewalk.


Motorcycles and scooters are everywhere and are parked all over the sidewalks, sometimes requiring a detour onto the street to get by.

The sidewalk is full

It's a great stroll through the old town, experiencing everything is offers and watching the people go about their daily lives.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural

The Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural is a 6.5 km (4 mile) tile mural developed between 2007 and 2010 as one of the major projects to celebrate the Millennial Anniversary of Hanoi in October 2010.  The tile work of decoration was created by 35 artists from Vietnam and many other countries including Denmark, France, Holland, Spain, Italy, Britain, America, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, and Russia.

We walk along a short stretch and enjoy.

Ceramic Mosaic Mural

What a beautiful stroll!

Friday, September 23, 2022

Arriving in Hanoi and Wandering Over to Hoan Kiem Lake

After Paris, we're home briefly then off to Vietnam and Korea.  Vietnam has removed all Covid restrictions, but Korea requires proof of vaccination and two Covid tests, one just before getting on the plane and one within 3 days of arrival (we take it at the Seoul airport when we arrive).

We arrive first in Vietnam, where it is raining in Hanoi and and we have a spectacular view of the city and clouds from our hotel room.  The next morning, the storm is gone and a beautiful sky sits over the city.

View from our room

Wandering outside of our hotel, the sidewalks are full of food stalls offering wonderful smelling meals and are packed at lunch and dinner.

Temping offers

We first head over to Hoan Kiem Lake, where we'll return later for dinner, and wander around the lake and over the bridge to the Temple of the Jade Mountain dedicated to Confucian and Taoist philosophers and the national hero Trần Hưng Đạo.

Hoan Kiem Lake

We cross the bridge to the temple and explore its beautiful island location.

Entering the temple

Wandering through the temple

In the temple we find a specimen of the Ho Guom Tortoise, closely attached to the legend of King Le who returned a sacred sword to the tortoise genius of Ho Luc Thuy (the former name of Ho Guom).  It is believed that the sacred sword is buried somewhere deep in Hoan Kiem Lake ("Ho Hoan Kiem" or Lake of the Sword Restored).

Ho Guom Tortoise

Outside the temple, we have more spectacular views of Hoan Kiem Lake.

Views of the lake

Across the street from the temple, we find the Martyrs' Monument erected as a memorial to those who died fighting for Vietnam's independence.  Alongside the statue in the monument are large displays that are currently encouraging anti-Covid measures.

Martyrs' Monument

A short walk away, we're in Hanoi's old town and watching as daily work (and naps) in the city go by.

Wandering into old town

We return to our hotel for more of the great views, preparing to return to Hoan Kiem Lake in a few hours for dinner.

The day winds down