150/365 June 2010: Exercising in the Park

If you ever visit Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, be sure to visit a park at sunrise. It will be full of people exercising. In addition to the walkers, joggers and bikers, people are ballroom dancing, playing badmitton, doing aerobics, and Qi Gong. You might see them singing opera or roller skating or riding skateboards. 

After bit some play board games or sit and talk. Then everyone hurries off to work or home.


148/365 June 2010: Temple of Literature in Hanoi

On Sunday we visited the Temple of Literature in Hanoi.  For around 1000  years this was the place scholars in Vietnam came to study and take their exams.  

The temple was bustling. Shortly after entering I was approached by these students who wanted to practice their English. We discussed our names, where we are from, where we have visited and what we had for breakfast.  It turns out we all ate pho for breakfast. I was pleased they could understand my Minnesota accent.  They seemed delighted that we understood each other.


This tower on the temple grounds is an icon of Hanoi.



These turtles carry stone tablets on their back. The tablets are inscribed with the names of all the scholars who have ever passed the exams.  





147/365 June 2010: Le Hien Restaurant

One restaurant we wanted to try in Hanoi was one run by the french chef Didier Corlou. He used to work at the Sofitel Metropole in Hanoi.  One day when we felt like we would expire from heat and dehydration we stumbled into a courtyard on our street. We ordered drinks and as we read the menu, we realized that this was a second restaurant run by Mr. Corlou.

We were so delighted with our starters and drinks that we returned the next day for lunch.  We were given a room of our own the second floor. We had a delicious lunch and made plans to have a dinner later in the week.  

After the meal, Sue looked out the window to the kitchen below.  It was then she noticed that there was a tree growing in the kitchen. Not only a tree, but a tree growing at an angle.  I would think that made using the kitchen challenging and a rather wet experience when it rained.


We asked one of the servers about it. She said it was a guava tree.  Here is another view so you can see it coming out the ceiling. 




146/365 June 2010: Tailoring in Hanoi


Vietnamese tailors are known for their high quality work and flattering design.  On my last visit I had dressy shirts created at the store next to this one; the one with the closed door.  On this trip, Pat went one further door down and had a pant and shirt set made.  They turned out well and fit like a glove.  She was pleased and they were good additions to her travel wardrobe.