Vietnam--Get ready, Get Set, Run For Your Life!
Trip Start Mar 17, 2005
124Trip End Mar 13, 2006
Hanoi is excellent. It used to have a heavy French influence as Matt enjoyed with daily chocolate croissants. Hanoi is a cute town, with lots of good shopping and a lake around it. Women do workouts at nighttime around the lake with music blaring. We also took in a interesting water puppet show where there were puppets under the water acting out to the music
A local recommended a fantastic restaurant, so we headed there to try it out. There was only one other caucasian in the place, and as soon as we showed up all mayhem broke loose. He started passing out and throwing up. Matt immediately ran over to help him, and we didn't have a clue what was happening but tried to help amidst a constant rumble of panicking Vietnamese people. We were able to control the situation and managed to call an ambulance, and we think he ended up being ok in the end, but it was a stressful beginning to our Vietnam experience. At end of our time, we had gone there twice. Only $1.25 a person and there was more authentic food than we could finish. Luckily it didn't serve dog, which is a speciality here in Hanoi and a favorite of many people we spoke to. Gross!
We visited the "Hanoi Hilton" as it was nicknamed, the POW prison where Senator John McCain was held for around 7 years. It was a horrible prison and everywhere we turned there was what we would call propaganda describing all the "luxuries" the Vietmanese government gave to the "American pilots", aka prisoners. We uploaded a photo of billiard balls with a sign: "American Pilots played when they were at Hanoi Prison". And in front of the volleyball net "provided by the Vietmanese Government to American Pilots for sport exercises".
I wrote down a quote from one of the photo pamphlets they distributed to locals during the time of the POW's: "Songs in praise of life will resound again, health and strength will feel more like building life instead of destroying it as it has been the case before". This doesn't even brush the surface of the things that were posted at the museum, but afraid that they may be tracking this posting (just kidding!).
Everywhere we turned there were people asking for our money, annoying us and pestering us to buy something. It just doesn't stop and gets really tiring to deal with.