Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bangkok - a city you can never tire of!

Bangkok - a city one can always return to. Have visited it before but visiting it again was refreshing. This time I made sure I took in the sights - The Grand Palace, The Reclining Buddha and of course the cruise on the Chao Phraya river. Also did the night markets of Pat Pong and Khao San Road and the weekend market at Chatuchak. Best of all were the massages! Could not get enough of them.

Hanoi - a potpourri of many influences

pot·pour·ri   /ˌpoʊpʊˈri, ˈpoʊpʊˌri/ – noun
1. a mixture of dried petals of roses or other flowers with spices, kept in a jar for their fragrance.
2. a musical medley.
3. a collection of miscellaneous literary extracts.
4. any mixture, especially of unrelated objects, subjects, etc.

I like to think of Hanoi as a potpourri or melange of various influences - old vs new, French vs Chinese, communist vs capitalist. Unfortunately, I was there for just a day and it left me thirsting for more.

  • Hanoi or Ha Noi (Vietnamese: Hà Nội) is the capital and second-largest city of Vietnam.
  • It has been inhabited since 3000 BC. Not many places in the world can claim that!
  • From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam.
  • Hanoi served as the capital of French Indochina from 1902 to 1954.
  • From 1954 to 1976, it was the capital of North Vietnam.
  • The city is located on the right bank of the Red River.
  • October 2010 officially marked 1000 years since the establishment of the city.
  • Currently, it is one of the hippest places to visit.
Some of the things that one must do:
  • Visit a Buddhist monastery
  • Visit the Cathedral
  • Eat some amazing Vietnamese food
  • Take a cruise on a junk boat in the HaLong Bay which is a UNESCO world heritage site. I have to do this the next time.
  • Explore the colonial quarter
  • Watch the world go by whilst sitting on the banks of the lakes - Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, Halais Lake and Bay Mau Lake

Yummy food...........

Their version of falooda! Loved it.

Didn't like these desserts!

The communist party HQ

Entrance to a Buddhist Temple

Tiny Oranges everywhere

A temple is never complete without incence sticks

The Cathedral - French influence

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Snake wine!

Turtle Tower in Hoan Kiem lake

The Opera House

Peaceful Oasis!
The Flag Tower