Sightseeing in Hanoi
After our grocery store trip this morning we spent the rest of the day sightseeing. We decided to go to area where Ho Chi Minh monuments were located. Went to the Ho Chi Minh museum but by the time we got there it was closed for 2 hour for lunch time nap time.
So we decided to find the b52 memorial or as they call it the victory monument. Guess it all depends on the view you are looking at history from. Recently on the amazing race the contestants had a pit stop there. Well I will never yell at the contestants on the show about how they are missing stops right in front of their eyes. We walked around for over an hour trying to find it. Finally stopped at a fruit smoothe place and got pineapple smoothe- yum yum. The owner was a young girl and the store had just opened a week ago , we asked for directions and she volunteered to take us there. It was a few blocks away and we had actually walked right past it and hadn't realized it. Boy did we feel stupid.
Also stopped and ate at a street vendor. We sat on the tiny little plastic chairs and they served us mystery food on the little plastic table. These chairs are made for tiny Asian bodies not WEstern fat butts. This was first time we didn't care much for the food and we've been eating all local. We can at least say we tried it. Think we will stick to pork sandwich and pho street food in future.
Went back to the Ho Chi Minh museum which is located on huge piece of land. No cars or scooters allowed int he area and it was so beautiful and quiet. The only place in the city that is quiet. The landscaping was beautiful. Museum was interesting. Admission was $1.25. All the signs in museum had English translations. Interesting reading about the US Imperialist aggression. Definately a different point of view of history but it makes sense that from their point of view.
Then went by the mausoleum but it was closed in afternoon so we didn't get to see his body. We'll come back another day to see it. Wandered around the presidential palace grounds, where they has stilt house where Ho Chi Minh lived etc. lots of tourist in area but mainly Asian or Australian. Very few Americans.
After an afternoon of non stop walking grabbed cab back to apt. We shortly realized that we were getting ripped off on the meter. Since we take a cab to work each day we now have a good idea of cost of taxis. We had driver pull over and paid him $ 8 and walked the rest of the way home. Taxi ride should have been $3.
Decided that we needed a break from Asian food and went to Pizza Hut for dinner. It was wonderful supreme pizza. Very different pizza choices that I don't think are on the normal USA menu.
Since we are going to be here so long and have multiple trips it is nice to have the time to just wander the streets and back alleys of Hanoi. We are getting a good idea of how people live their daily lives. Have felt very safe wandering around and everyone is very nice. It is amazing how we are learning to communicate, manage money etc without speaking the language.