Hanoi City

10 03 2010

We arrived back in Hanoi from Halong Bay on a Sunday and after learning that all the museums and some pagodas would be closed the following Monday (like any other Monday) we decided to visit the Perfume Pagoda, which is up in the Marble Mountains, about 70 km. outside of Hanoi.

The perfume pagoda is a natural limestone cave with a fully fledged altar and everything.  To get to the pagoda we took a bus for two hours, went in a rowing boat for one hour and walked up the mountain for forty minutes so you can imagine the anticipation.  I’ll let the pictures speak on how beautiful the pagoda really is.  Going to the Perfume Pagoda to pray and give sacrifices to Buddha is supposed to give you good luck, good health and prosperity for the whole year and if we get any of that, the effort is surly worth it. 

The main attraction for us on this trip though was to watch all the Vietnamese tourists visiting the pagoda.  The guide said that the days before our visit the pagoda was visited by over fifty thousand people each day but we were visiting on the twenty third day of the newly started lunar year and odd days are not as good for visiting the temples according to local legend so we escaped the crowds.  We were especially interested in the many restaurants that lined the pathway.  The local specialty here seemed to be some kind of soup with fresh meat in it and the meat was was on display in front of the restaurants so that the guests could ensure its freshness.  For the soup there was a choice of beef, deer, cats and dogs – all sounding delicious but we took a pass for this round.

There are a lot of trips that you can make out of Hanoi, either daytrips or 2-3 day trips but we have been told that the city it self is nothing special.  Never the less we walked a bit in the old town and visited the Temple of Literature (where they, like professor Dumbledore, seemed to like the Phoenix an awful lot), which was nice, but in the end we totally agreed with what we had been told.  Hanoi is a bit like an overgrown village with endless narrow streets where people are selling anything and everything and scooter after scooter.  Hanoi has no big city feel to it event though there are five million people here, at least not where we went.

We had planned to stay until the eleventh but changed our flight ticket to Laos and we left two days early for Luang Prabang in Laos – town we have only heard the nicest things about .

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2 responses

15 03 2010
Nína

The temple of Litterature hefur nú verið góður staður fyrir Örn að kíkja á, skrifandi blogg og lesandi bækur á færibandi. :-D Enda klappar hann trommunni.

Veit líka að Elinborg les mikið en hún er ekki á myndinni hehe.

18 03 2010
Fish

Nice trip :). Welcome to discovery Hanoi.

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