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Old 23rd July 2010, 17:22   #46
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Originally Posted by pramod View Post
In the city center, there is this huge square area, where most of the Government buildings and Presidential palace is present. It also has a few nicely maintained parks, the Single pillar Pagoda and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

The street from West Lake to the Presidential palace in Hanoi.

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One of the Government buildings

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Presidential Palace
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Ho Chi Minh Square & Mausoleum. Here, everymorning at 5 AM, people gather and play badminton, have a nice morning walk from the lake to this square and back. A lot of old Vietnamese practice "Tai Chi". A Traditional martial art i guess. Every lake, every park would have a few 50 year olds practising it.
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Entrance of Single Pillar Pagoda
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Single pillar Pagoda.Attachment 391783

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A Pagoda and a "kutub minar" like Tower on the West lake.
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Hoan Kiem Lake. And the famous red bridge across it to a pagoda at the center of the lake.
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Tuc Tuc -- One can take this ride, to see the city in a leasurely manner. The Tuc Tuc ride.
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How you managed the language there?
Do they know english as well!!
I see that all the boards were written in some other language!
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Old 23rd July 2010, 19:19   #47
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Originally Posted by Bomi View Post
By the way - nice pictures and an interesting read. Is it easy to get vegetarian food?
Yes, it should be possible to carry painting in some manner. The best person to ask that, is the art shop owner himself, as a lot of visitors would have bought it from him.

Vegetarian food.... well. This needs a blog seperately i guess.
I have to say that, its not easy, if you dont have the patience to explain to them. In many of the decent sized hotels, you can clearly let them know that, "No meat, No sea food, No mushroom". They get it.

If u say "dont want meat", chances are that, they would have heard the important word "want" :P So, you will get used to this with a few goof-ups.

Italian hotels, Indian hotels and mexican always have Veggie options part of the menu. So, no issues here.

Even thai cuisine always have veggie curries (red curry, yellow curry) part of the menu. You can also have with tried Tofu or soft tofu.

Pho is a NO NO for veggies. 99% of the times, Hotels wont have a Veggie soup/broth. They would usually have chicken broth.

Now that, you asked, i will post a few snaps of it . I promise, i dint miss India much, from food perspective. You see why.

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@Prathap -- They do understand english. But not everyone. English is not part of their education system. So, people would have learnt on their own or through special English courses, outside of school.
There is a lot to improve on this front, for these people.
But, to be frank, half the people i have met have decent english to have a meaningful conversation. With the rest, hand signals help!
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Old 23rd July 2010, 19:21   #48
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You managed to find vada, sambhar and chutney in frasersuites in 'Nam? Wow.
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Old 23rd July 2010, 19:34   #49
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You managed to find vada, sambhar and chutney in frasersuites in 'Nam? Wow.
Well, since i dint want to dine alone in the Restaurant, i used to order for delivery (free, btw) from the nearby "Indian Palace" & "Dakshin".
So, i managed to have Samosa, Onion Uttappam, Pakodas, Vada and everything!
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Old 23rd July 2010, 19:55   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
You managed to find vada, sambhar and chutney in frasersuites in 'Nam? Wow.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod View Post
Well, since i dint want to dine alone in the Restaurant, i used to order for delivery (free, btw) from the nearby "Indian Palace" & "Dakshin".
So, i managed to have Samosa, Onion Uttappam, Pakodas, Vada and everything!
Exactly my thoughts MX! In fact in a south indian hotel in US, I was shocked, when the menu read "Italian Dosa". When I asked what it contained, prompt came be reply: Filling of cheese and Pasta!

So much for masala dosa!
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Old 24th July 2010, 22:17   #51
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Default Tam Coc & Hua Lu Citadel

Today - 24th July. Myself and my wife, who arrived here last weekend, visited the popular "Tam Coc" location. This place is 100 Kms from Hanoi.
It is a vast location with Volcanic rock and mountain formations covered with forest and abosulte green. In the midst of all these innumerous hills and volcanic rocks, flows the Tam Coc river.
A Sampan is a boat. With 2 rows of 2 seaters. Either one person or in our case, 2 persons paddled the boat. It was a 1.5 Hour cruise through twisty and curvy narrow river, with exciting photographic oppurtunities on every corner.

We cross 3 caves formed below these volcanic rocky hills. After the 3rd cave, we take a U-turn and return back to the base point, 1.5 Hours away, from where we started off.

There were atleast 200 boats that i could count, on the river. And a whole bunch of tourists from all races and regions.

We thoroughly enjoyed this experience, which was a first of this kind, if i dont count the kerala Vembanad experience.

Also, we visited a Citadel - Hua Lu, which is 30 min away from Tam Coc cruise location.

We left at 7.45 AM. Reached the Citadel at 10.15AM. Stayed till 11 AM at this location. Then, travelled towards Tam Coc. Took the boat ride from 11.30 AM to 2 AM. Had lunch at a hotel on the bank, which was part of the $50 package per person.
The car was a Chevy Optra (here, it is called Daewoo xyz). comfortable.

Let the pictures narrate the rest.

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Old 24th July 2010, 22:39   #52
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Default TamCoc Contd

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Old 25th July 2010, 03:56   #53
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Did not know Vietnam was beautiful too. had heard only a few things about Vietnam.
1. war
2. food- they eat anything that walks/crawls/swims.
3. 2 wheelers.

I did hear a good bit from my colleague who was in Vietnam during the war. He was a US Navy Seal and was stationed there during the war.
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Old 25th July 2010, 08:28   #54
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Nice locales! Very beautiful! What is the river we are talking about?
Are there any major rivers out there?
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Old 25th July 2010, 08:50   #55
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The river on Tam Coc is "Hoang Long River".

Tam coc basically means 3 caves. These are all limestone mountains, Not Volcanic formations, which i stated earlier. These formations were in the sea before. So, its also called "Halong Bay on the land"

http://www.footprintsvietnam.com/Des...nd-Hoa-Lu.html
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Old 26th July 2010, 11:05   #56
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Lovely place!!! Looks like those boats are the Vietnamese equivalent of a Venetian Gondola

btw, Pramod, how is the tourism sector in Vietnam? Do you see lot of international tourists?
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Old 26th July 2010, 11:32   #57
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You seem to be soaking in the culture and enjoying yourself. You have covered all places worth covering I feel.


For food, you have Khazana and foodshop45. I prefer foodshop45 as it is quite reasonable and the service is quite good. Its run by a vietnamese family( cook is from the family). The starters are to die for .

check this site and link. It might be of some interest to you.

The Menu for Foodshop 45 | The New Hanoian


I have spent about 14 months here now and am winding up. My wife joined me last week.

The things that standout in Hanoi are the street food everywhere, innumerable Cafes with Free Wifi, Two wheelers most of them Auto clutch and 100 cc. Cheap helmets which dont serve the purpose. Traffic police like ours ( ony to fine and make money), Cloth shops every street with model dummies.The people are quite friendly and you see men and women working on equal terms. You find girls working as mechanics, drivers, Xe -Om riders, Lot of lakes and well maintained and I can go on.

Weather wise this summer was quite hot and unforgiving ( reached around 43 degrees). It will ease out in August.

You should try some movies at the vincom towers ( megastar cineplex with 7 to 9 movie halls I guess) I have watched atleast Four 3 D movies and lots of english movies there.
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Old 26th July 2010, 13:37   #58
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@pramod,
nice pics.
why i feel that there is sad air in the atmosphere of vietnam?

Btw, i saw one program on discovery about food in vietnam and dog[kutta] is faverit for meat in vietnam.
Do you have pic of swollen dog for sale at street vendor? [just kidding]

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
From the snaps one thing is for sure! They know how to keep their places clean.
I noticed that folks do create muck all around on weekends, but the next week day its all spic and span!
My words.

India and cleanliness are foes and will never go hand in hand with present mindset of people.
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Old 26th July 2010, 13:58   #59
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My words.
India and cleanliness are foes and will never go hand in hand with present mindset of people.
Anything "out side" "our house" is dont care to us. That is how we have been brought.
Lessons on how to keep surroundings clean, are myths for today.
Too Bad Too Bad.
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Old 26th July 2010, 14:22   #60
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Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
Lovely place!!! Looks like those boats are the Vietnamese equivalent of a Venetian Gondola
btw, Pramod, how is the tourism sector in Vietnam? Do you see lot of international tourists?
Addy, The wooden row seats on the Sampan (vietnamese boat) was nowhere close to the comfort of a Gondola!

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Originally Posted by muni View Post
You should try some movies at the vincom towers ( megastar cineplex with 7 to 9 movie halls I guess) I have watched atleast Four 3 D movies and lots of english movies there.
I will probably catch up with one movie. Btw, i will leave in 2 weeks time.

@AshishPallod - Dog meat, i did see in a few places. Not that, i was able to recognize it. I asked and confirmed
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