Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Hanoi Day 2 13th February 2012

Kangaroo Cafe again...

Studying a tourist map over breakfast and there appears to be a few museums dotted around - revolution, Vietnam history, arts, army. No Chi Minh, or Uncle Ho, has his own museum and close to that is his mausoleum. Looks as though the old quarter is the City central area having most of the tourist attractions clustered around the lake. Hanoi also has a good splattering of ancient religious architecture. I don't have a burning desire to visit museums, and I've seen enough pagodas and temples to last a me a life time, but if I do get really bored I know where to head for.

No agenda as such, but I would like to end up at the Kangaroo cafe again this afternoon, that's if I can remember where it was! Just wandering around in the general direction of the lake (Hoan Kiem), absorbing the Hanoi sights and sounds of what is a fairly relaxed atmosphere. Not as manic as Saigon and doesn't have the same vibe as Bangkok.

The lake is a murky green. In the middle is a temple, a small structure costing $1 to go and look around. Just 1 or 2 skyscrapers on the skyline, clearly not as developed as Saigon although plenty of building upwards is underway. A misty, murky day again but at least it's warming up a bit. The railway station isn't far away, I want to call in and get the price to Sapa, the town in the north western mountains that tourists flock to. Station looks rundown, very few people around. $60 is the return price on a sleeper train, but that's just to the nearest station. Sapa is still an hour from there by bus, but it's something to consider.

I know the kangaroo place is just north of the lake, somewhere around here. Found it eventually and ordered the coffee, same as yesterday. Looking through the menu again feeling a bit peckish, a portion of chips will cost £1.67, no thanks. Pastry and bread products are widely sold by shops and street hawkers. A pizza type bread is 50p and quite tasty, good value portion to. Street food vendors are around daytime, but things really liven up at night. The locals flock to these, and there seems to be a good variety of food on offer, although for street food it is pricey, almost as much as eating in a cafe in some instances!

Back to base and a few minutes at the hotel's tour desk. I can get a sleeper bus to Sapa town for $35 return on Friday - booked.

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