Hanoi, Old Quarter

At 4 AM, the bus dumps all the sleepy passengers at the My-Dinh bus terminal, and No 34 city bus takes me to Hanoi’s old quarter.

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Hanoians love beer especially “Bia -Hoi”, a fresh draught beer that is sold at the street corner, making drinkers sit on a plastic squat stool. It is highly affordable for 5,000 dong a glass(25 US cents) and tastes awesome. Rumor has it that a Czech home brewer handed down the skill of this beer making to a local, very plausible story as Vietnam is tied up with Czech republic so close in the same Communist league.

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I have never seen any other country that has more bikes on the street than Vietnam.

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Typical Vietnamese house, narrow to the side but deep to the back.

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The conical bamboo hat is widely worn by the working class locals.

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A railway line that goes in between the houses, became a photographer’s shooting ground.

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The Army museum’s flag tower.

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This statue tells us how Northern Vietnamese army accomplished the victory over South. Anyone can be a fighter.

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Any museum in Vietnam houses a cafe called Highland in the museum ground, famous for unsatisfying  coffee and flavour-less Baguette Ban-Mi. Just good for a pit stop after a hard walk under the hot weather.

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The cafe looks pretty and promising but I would not have a meal here again.

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The colonial tree-lined Boulevard makes Vietnamese road look really charming and clean, but when you in there, choking, with fumes from the cars.

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Food vendors in the street hardly use the Gas cooker, but the charcoal stays the main form of the fuel.

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Old quarter’s high light goes to “Temple of Literature” dedicated to the Confucianism teachers and gurus. Neatly calming place where you can sit and fill in your diary or write a letter to a lover.

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Ao-Dai dressed lady with a conical hat entering the temple. Truly scene of Vietnam.

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Tourists love this place, kids or grown-ups alike.

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Big drum tower. I reckon this would have been an alarm clock calling for a meeting.

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Bell tower.

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This man demonstrates the Chinese calligraphy to the public.

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Now “Bun Cha” Hanoi’s iconic food that attracts people on the street. It is a charcoal cooked pork or minced pork ball come in turnip soup, accompanied by the Vietnamese mint, lettuce, morning glory, hot rat-shit chilly and a white noodle.

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The spring roll is not in part of “Bun-Cha” but it will be an extra order.

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This is how I like my Bun-Cha. Extremely hot sensation for a couple of seconds, then yummy combination of herbs, meat and noodle. Bomb of happiness.

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When you slide into where locals sit, it costs only 25,000 dong(1.30 US$) for a Bun-Cha and 10,000 dong ( 50 US cents) for a set of Nem(spring roll).

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Well, There are some more things to be enjoyed in old quarters. See you in the next episode.

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