Hanoi, Vietnam activates all the senses! From the government buildings and religious pagodas painted in saffron yellow, to the busy streets flooded with motorbikes and mopeds like swashbuckling sardines, to salesmen and women on bicycles peddling their wares with loudspeakers, to the steaming bowls of pho heaped with as many meats and vegetables as you can muster, and finally the bright neon lights over the ever popular Hoan Kiem Lake at night.
Hanoi is both reverent and rampageous. Overwhelming, at first, for the introvert and the inexperienced, but the sights and sounds will soon beckon you hither.
Featured in this video:
Tran Quoc Pagoda:
The oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi, it is located on a small island near Westlake. It was built in the 6th century making it more than 1450 years old. The grounds feature a Bodhi Tree grown from a cutting of the original Bodhi Gaya in India under which the Buddha sat to achieve enlightenment.
Traffic lights (if you could find them) are NOT just mere suggestions — but relics! Say a prayer, go with God — and please don’t stop as none of the drivers will!
Salesman with Loudspeakers:
I am not sure how many of you had fishermen drive through your childhood neighbourhood calling through the loudspeaker “Kingfish!”, “Carrite!” Or those who remember the nutsman from the Stadium who would beseech “Buy somet’ing from meh nah!” Well, I will have you know that loudspeaker marketing is universal!
Cane Juice & Cane Press:
Self-explanatory, but can we have this in Trinidad? It’s pleasantly refreshing. Forget sugar!
Noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat.
Hoan Kiem Lake:
Also known as the Lake of the Returned Sword. It is said to be the home of a Golden Turtle God and features the Temple of the Jade Mountain on the small Jade Island.