Thursday, March 29, 2007

15th Jan - 10th Day Pt 3 (Ha Long Bay - Hanoi, Vietnam)

Cold weather excourages intimacy? I think so as I saw a lot of couples (young and old) are not afraid of PDA (Public Display of Affection, which you'll be fined in Malaysia, mind you!) But they are just nice without excessive display of affection if you ask me.
(Insert the used-to-be-played-to-death "Love is All Around" here)
Floral arrangement around the Hoan Kiem Lake.

A little gal in bright red clothes; taken in one of the parks near the famed Hanoi church.

See? Kids exercise too!!! In this health-conscious country, Vietnam that is.

The kids were chatting and playing after the school ends while waiting for their parents. The gal in peach sweater waving cheekily at me.

What a cool brother he is? Fetching his two younger sisters back from the school! Oh yeah... it's no school uniform in the cold weather in Hanoi! I did asked their permission before the shot, hence the big and cooperative smile.

The famed Hanoi church (oppss... I need time to search the name of the church, slipped my mind) which I had to come back to visit as it's only opened 5-7 am and pm respectively.

Side shot of the church building

The entrance

Notice the shop name? I wonder what does it mean in Vietnamese?

Introducing JOON!!!!!! I met him while sitting at the steps in front of the church entrance waiting for the opening time. With his distinct Asian look, I was very sure that he is another traveller like me. We greeted each other and I got to know he just arrived in Hanoi on that particular day. He's very friendly and always carry a big smile (isn't that obvious?) with him. Apparently he is a social activist and he's passionately involved in issues such as child labour, especially in Asian countries. He has an impressive background as he was working with the UNHCR in Bangkok and involved in asylum-seeking procedures for Koreans in Thailand. Wow!!!!
We had a coffee at one of the shops nearby (shown above) and chatted the evening away. I got to know that he had a travel companion, a Korean guy who he met along the way as well but got sick, down with flu n stuff. We decided to have dinner together but went back to his hotel to get his friends some food and water, checking out on him. His friend (who I forgot his name already) is getting better and decided to stay in the room resting because they had book the Ha Long Bay trip the next day and it will be a waste having to go sick!

After we made sure everything's ok for his friend, we went out to the streets scavenging for food. I was determined to try the street food and Joon is a bit hesitant initially haha...... But we found a stall located near a crossroad junction full of local Hanoians enjoying their dinner and we said, THAT's THE ONE!!!
I took this pic of a sweet young Hanoian couple who sat behind Joon. Notice we actually sat on the small plastic stool in the pic below. They were a good looking pair and seems OK with me taking pics with them. I guess they were as curious of us as we are of them! They must be wondering what two Asian travellers doing here? Are they serious of having their meal here?

Taken by the Viet guy who's shaking a bit......
As you can see, it's DEFINITELY not the CLEANEST place to eat but I was damn determined to try out the food as I had a good experience during the noon time (previous post). We were the only non-locals and we ordered our meal by guessing actually haha.....
Joon is having hard time slicing the baguette (notice the sympathetic stare the guy on the left gave him?) which comes together with the gravy-potato on the bottom right. The dish in the centre is actually something like our Sandakan-style-kuew-teow-goreng (wet but not wat dan) with lots of vege (sawi I think). Then we had a bowl of eel soup which tastes DELICIOUS (WITH CAPITAL LETTERS LITERALLY). We also had a bottle of the local Bia Hoi.
If I remembered correctly, it only costs RM10 pax!

After the nice and full dinner, we took a walk around Hanoi and finally found the famous Minh's Jazz Club (listed in LP). If you are lucky (which we were) you will be able to catch Mr. Minh jam with his band as well. They played nice jazz though personally I preferred vocal jazz. However, it's more of a instrumental set with emphasis on the band, which is not a bad thing. I went to this club again 4 days later with my Ha Long-friends, Sharon, Ann and Lotte. Nice place to spend the night away. Heard that there's a disco (oh... are the youngster using this word anymore now???) built on a boat!
The female vocalists stretching her skills.


Cruel Angel said...

your picture taking skilss really good la.. can fight with my dad but not his son.. hohoho

CK Tan said...

who can fight you?

형준 said...

It was impressive with your gorgeous pics and comment!!

Thank you for inviting me here!