Saturday, March 9, 2013

walking around hanoi, vietnam part 1

i made a 4-day trip to northern vietnam four months ago and within this span time, a lot of things had already happened. for one, i braved one remarkable feat as kick off for my 2013! the other things? i can't seem to think about them at this moment. haha i just like to believe that november, last year was so long ago!

i actually decided awhile back to put up a concluding post of northern vietnam and just summarize everything into a single post. that won't be really the case now, after i browsed through my photos recently and i figured that i won't do justice if i would just bury these photos in my external drive and have them rest in peace, unless i come up with a good account first. and i hope i will. i'm even coming up with two posts! c'mon, the title should rightfully be your clear-cut hint!

Old Quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam

i had mentioned in my previous post about our limited time in hanoi since we unfairly made this vibrant capital as mere jump off point to halong bay. pardon us, the worker ants that also had a limited number of vacation leaves.

and moving on from that sad fact. we gratified our stomachs and minds with a good pho at our hotel, after hauling ourselves from a rip off taxi that we took at the bus terminal, where we disembarked from our halong trip. a mouthful sentence with obvious displeasure in between! haha

and again, moving on from that sadder fact. the dilapidated yellow building above, was right across our hotel and i found it inexplicably charming. we just had to do a very quick photo session with it.

Old Quarter Sidewalk in Hanoi, Vietnam

our hotel was right smack at the center of the old quarter so, getting around hanoi's interesting sights, was easy.  hanoi was having a cool weather that time, which was highly favorable for an aimless walk. not entirely aimless though, since we were out with the st. joseph's cathedral in mind. it turned out that we passed by a few equally interesting places as we tried to figure out the exact way.

Walking Around the Old Quarter in Hanoi, Vietnam

i was in love with their huge pavements! i had to even tell these two beauties to act out candidly, as if they're having a nice stroll which we assumed to be reminiscent of europe. oh please, don't burst our dream bubbles.

A Library in Hanoi, Vietnam

we made another apparent wrong turn and we stumbled upon a library, that looked quite regal from outside. we had no clue if we were allowed inside but we just passed by a presumed man-in-charge near the gate and proceeded up to their manicured gardens. we took a few photos and before anyone would apprehend us, we made our exit briefly after that.

Vuon Hoa Hang Trong, Hanoi, Vietnam

a little more confident that we were finally in the right direction to the church, we made another delightful discovery of this beautiful garden. according to wikipedia, this place also has a library and how relaxing it would be, when you're reading a book on one of the benches while savoring the glow of the afternoon sun. this area where french made one of their lasting marks in hanoi, was recently rehabilitated to turn into such greenery. and with that, we couldn't be entirely wrong when somehow, the old quarter felt a tiniest bit of europe.

Vuon Hoa Hang Trong, Hanoi, Vietnam

School Kids in Hanoi, Vietnam

it was a monday so, it was a school day in hanoi. we saw a few groups of school kids practicing a what-it-seemed to be a local dance, sporadic around the area. we found this particular group of girls at the vuon hoa hang trong as they practiced on their dance routines. we were not sure if their teachers really approved when we asked them if we could take a couple of photos with the girls. we just couldn't help it for these girls were a bunch of cuties!

St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi, Vietnam

St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi, Vietnam

St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi, Vietnam

further ahead along that street, we at last, found what we were searching for! st. joseph's cathedral was in the middle of a typical contiguous array of establishments in the old quarter and that's why, we didn't have any clue that the church was already near.

st. joseph's cathedral is a roman catholic church in a neo-gothic architecture. it was built during the late 19th century and the dark moss creeping on the edifice obviously gave way its age although, the interior of the church was a totally different view altogether.

i think you know what i had to say next. yes, this church definitely made us think of europe! our dreams were as bright as a sunny day!

Old Quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam

need i say more? just think of this tangerine scooter as vespa and we are all set for this grand illusion! haha

Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, Vietnam

after the church, our next agenda was to see the hoan kiem lake during the day. the lake brought pleasant feelings that i even dedicated a post of it last year.

Old Quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam

Old Quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam

we were intrigued by this temple (?) as we went around the lake. we even had to brave yet again, to cross such a crazy traffic!

Old Quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam

once again, i sorta fell in love with this huge pavement along the lake! its size was perfect for the people, locals and tourists alike, who were strolling around the lake as the day went by. i was tempted to do somersaults here but i stopped myself because of the presence of a police outpost. haha

somehow getting lost in the old quarter, was an enjoyable thing to do. we inadvertently found a number of fascinating sights, much to our delight.

join me again on the tale of our half day saga around the old quarter in the part 2 post. in the meantime, let me bribe you with these loaves of bread, peddled along the street in the old quarter. this reminds me that i'm super hungry right now, i could eat a hundred of these! lol

Street Bread Peddlers in Hanoi, Vietnam


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