Steve Barriault

By: 
Steve Barriault

August 07, 2017

This is Part Two of my training trip to Vietnam. If you didn't read Part 1, it is here. I walked all the way to an important temple dedicated to the Jade Emperor, not unlike what I saw in China at multiple occasions. What was unique, however, was that a statue of the Jade Emperor was provided with tons of food, such a fruits (OK), ramen noodles and even Oreo cookies! Since people prayed there I did not dare take a picture, but I did so in the next room where a giant turtle statue (pictured below) was exhibited. According to legend, this place is where the emperor gave back a magical sword to the turtle that lent it to the Vietnamese people to throw invaders out (this happened in the 15th century). 

Views from the temple

Then it was time to head back. Yes, on foot too. Went through a street with some unique charm (well, not that unique, apparently many examples where trains and people coexist in a tight plot of land).

Hope the train isn't coming too often

I also needed food, and unfortunately, the only restaurants I could find with air conditioners were foreign restaurants. That's quite OK, I needed the AC! So, treated myself to some delicious Japanese food, and yes, I could even order it in Japanese too! Like all the restaurants I went to except one, beautiful and smiling service included for free. And then went through "The Maze" again, at night, which was filled with people! Yep, even in the previously deserted park mid-day, there were now many parents with kids playing. Besides making it much easier to navigate (just follow the flow of vehicles!), it taught me an important lesson. Vietnamese people are smart when it is warm in Vietnam, don't be stupid (like me!), and WAIT for the night before going out to do activities!

And, don't get me wrong. This is only a glance of Hanoi and Vietnam in general. People spoke to me about beautiful beaches and cool mountain trekking, apparently not too far from the capital. And this is only one side of Hanoi - the other side is a quickly developing city with what it entails in terms of buildings (pictured below). But I hope the people there will protect the old Hanoi with its nooks and crannies. It does give the city a nice character. 

If you have a chance to go, I highly recommend it - but perhaps inquire when the weather is a bit cooler!