We spent our first day in Hanoi getting acquainted with the neighborhood and learning our way around. Our hotel is located at the edge of the Old Quarter and that is where we spent most of our time as restaurants, bars and attractions are all within walking distance and we try to walk as much as possible.
I was actually taking a photo of this vendor and it wasn't until I downloaded it to my computer that I noticed the couple in the picture. It was their wedding day and they were having wedding photos taken. Next door to our hotel was a wedding planning venue and we saw many receptions taking place. It was always decorated beautifully and with great attention to detail. The flower arrangements were stunning
I was surprised to find a rooster in the middle of this large city. He was crowing for all he was worth and he was not the only chicken wandering the streets.
More city streets:
Our first meal in Hanoi were these beef rolls. Thin slices of beef are wrapped around string mushrooms. They are then covered with a brown sauce.
I was not expecting to see a Swarovsky crystal store in Hanoi!
This is Hoan Kiem Lake, meaning "Lake of the Returned Sword." It is one
of the major scenic spots in the city and people enjoy walking along
it's shores or sitting on a bench looking at the view. There are many
food stalls and vendors selling merchandise in the vicinity of the lake.
There is a legend that the golden turtle god, Kim Qui, surfaced one day while the Emperor Le Loi was boating and asked for his magic sword, Heaven's Will. It is still believed by some that the sword is buried deep somewhere in the lake.
A basket seller. She had many beautiful baskets packed on her bicycle. Unfortunately, I don't have room to pack a basket all the way home so had to pass on basket shopping.
A woman navigates heavy motorbike traffic while balancing her carrying pole on her shoulders. Note the nearly impossible to escape American fast food restaurants in the background.
Now that we have the lay of the land, we are ready to expand our horizons over the next six days that we will be in Hanoi.