Friday, October 10, 2008

Parting thoughts on Vietnam

I think we short-changed ourselves on Vietnam by leaving too early. After the few days out in the Bay, our last 12 hours in Hanoi were a flurry of errands - getting fitted in our new clothes, requesting modifications, finding a bank machine that would work so we could pay for it all and finally catching a water puppet show. We also seemed to be missing a celebration for Oct.10 is the 54th anniversary of the liberation of the nation's capital and the town center was decked out in red flags and the sounds of brass bands. It was a festive atmosphere and even more crowded than normal.
The Water Puppet Show ( is an ancient art form developed by rice farmers to pass the time while the rice grew in the flooded fields. It's quite a neat show to see and also quite remarkable how they control these puppets "remotely" underwater via a bamboo pole and some strings. The show is accompanied by an orchestra who helps narrate the story. Typical Asian music and not much help for us who don't speak Vietnamese, but we could always get the drift of the story.

Also stopped in for a quick and cheap dinner of "pho" which is a noodle soup. It's good, and here it's a lot more basic than what I've had in Winnipeg not to mention cheaper (cost about a buck). We did eat quite well here in Vietnam. Had a delicious meal at the Cyclo restaurant here in Hanoi (expensive! at ~C$8 each) that was a nice fusion of Vietnamese and French cuisine.

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