Monday 5 Feb
Pattiseries, boulangeries and cafes EVERYWHERE...
Took an 'el cheapo' flight to Hanoi (only 55 quid inclu all taxes!) which actually left on time and didn't make us feel unsafe so we can definitely recommend Air Asia if you happen to pop over to Asia...
We are staying at the very lovely Hanoi Backpackers which is owned by some Ozzies and is located in a building in the middle of the old quarter. It used to be an embassy so you can imagine the lovely high ceilings and old features. Vietnam used to be a French colony so for one on a diet it is pretty hellish. Pattiseries, boulangeries and cafes are EVERYWHERE. This precipitated a reignition of the jogging habit much to the amusement of the local populace as I bounded (and bounced) around Hoan Kiem Lake.
This morning we rose at a very unholy hour for us - 7.30am - and went for a jog AGAIN. This time along with all the early morning Tai Chi elderlies in Lenin Park. Spent the afternoon walking and visited the Temple of Literature, stopping for a leisurely coffee at a place that's claim to fame was that it has been visited by the Japanese First Lady. They had even named a cake after her!
Other events... bought some original artwork... paid for the cheapest yet public toilet 1.75p... booked ourselves on a 3 day tour to Halong Bay.
The Vietnamese are thoroughly lovely and friendly and we are so enjoying being their guests.