Got up early on first day(Sunday) and went exploring with my business associate. Our furnished apartments are in the Ba Dinh section of Hanoi. I have no idea of where that is in relation to the rest of the city but appears to be in a local neighborhood. I saw no other Americans in our walk around the area.
Went to Lakeside Hotel for breakfast buffet since our apt complex wasn't serving on Sunday. For $7 got a nice variety in buffet of Asian food. Got to try my first bowl of Pho with chicken. This is the main dish of Vietnam and I loved it-spicy. After breakfast walked for blocks and blocks exploring all the side streets and taking in the sites.
Hard to fully explain the overwhelming noise from cars and scooters and constant honking. I was prepared for all the scooters but it is still a site to behold. Saw families of 4 on one small scooter. We couldn't believe at 8 am on a Sunday all of the traffic. I'm not sure where everyone was going.
Found some nice quiet streets with local restaurants that we will probably try out later. There is also a nice lake near our place and we walked around it. We then wondered into a farmers market on a side street. Lots of gorgeous vegetables, fresh fish still flopping around in the water, plenty of plucked chickens.
Decided to stop in a bakery. It had beautiful cakes, fresh pastries and rolls still warm from the oven. We bought a sampling of goodies and some canned juices for $3. Then stopped at local convenience store and picked up 3 bottles water and a beer for $1. Unreal how cheap everything is here.
Also getting used to no English signs in our neighborhood. All the stores are very small shops, many of them cooking meat right outside of them. Think we will wait a little bit before trying that food.
Resting now before we head out to the Old Quarter for more exploring. Will try to load pictures once I figure out how.