Headed home, Reflections

November 1-2.  Left for the airport at 5PM for our 8:30 flight, arriving in lots of time.  All of us are coughing from exposure to Hanoi’s air pollution.  Not good.  We say a fond and sad goodbye to Hoan, who has been a terrific and fun guide and has greatly enhanced our enjoyment of Hanoi.

[…]

Last Day in Hanoi

November 1. Chet, Carol and I have breakfast in the hotel, then set off to the gallery w had visited yesterday and talk with the artist, Thiet Cuong.  We purchase the black and white painting pictured below (over Cuong’s left shoulder), as well as some ceramic plates.

Outside we see some street food, chicken feet.

[…]

From Zumba to Water Puppets

October 28.  As is often the case, one of the highlights of the day was not even on the itinerary.  Carol and I arise early and head off towards the lake.  En route, we encounter in close proximity, but seemingly oblivious to one another, badminton, tai chi, Zumba dancers, soccer games, ballroom dancers and more. […]

Northward Ho!  (No pun intended.)

October 27.  After breakfast, we are driven to the airport for our 10:30 flight to Hanoi, passing kids posing for a school picture and viewing many typical motorbike/shop street scenes. 

Clearly, we are becoming accustomed to even higher levels of being spoiled. It used to be that, for a short flight, we’d eschew business class, […]

Pagodas, Mausoleums and the Citadel

October 26.  After breakfast in the hotel, we take a morning boat cruise (notice on boat says, “Explosives, flammable materials, radioactive materials and cattle are not allowed to bring with visitors in boat.”) on the Perfume River 

to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, which was only moderately interesting.

We were then then driven to the beautiful […]