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  • Writer's pictureKristin

Vietnam | Hanoi

Our first morning we headed out to explore the city. Hanoi brought us back to the big city full of traffic and motorbikes. We could barely walk on the sidewalk because the motorbikes were all parked there and people would just be hanging out in the street. We walked around the park in the middle of the Old Quarter of the city.

Museum of Ethnology

After exploring for a bit we headed to the Museum of Ethnology. In Northern Vietnam there are various different ethnic groups that live in the hills and so the museum showcased their lifestyles and customs. In the back they even had real-life replicas of the different houses that the different minority groups reside.

Convenient Barber Shops

As we were walking back from the museum we went by a park and outside there were several barbers. They would just sit up their chair and utensils and have their patrons stop in for their shave and cut right near the park on the sidewalk. Talk about convenience!

Vietnamese Water Puppet Show

In the afternoon we went to a water puppet show. This is a traditional Vietnamese performance where they have music and dialogue and then puppeteers behind a curtain manipulating the puppets. However, the difference is that the puppeteers are totally immersed in the water and use sticks to move the puppets around on the other side of the curtain to show their movement and tell their story. They acted out planting rice and harvesting it, etc. We enjoyed the time in Hanoi but we were ready to move on. We also started contemplating our next trip plans. We originally thought we would move from northern Vietnam to Laos, but then the more we started researching that we found out that the only way between Hanoi and Laos was a 24+ hour bus ride that many reported as being the "nightmare bus ride." Plus the temperatures were pretty cool up north, only getting into the 50s or 60s for a high during the day, which we didn't bring enough clothes for. Based on the weather and the fact that we are not as young and daring as we used to be, we decided to book a relatively cheap flight south to Singapore for about 100 USD instead of the uncomfortable bus ride. However, first we're off to the coast!

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