Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Day 35 & 36 - Vietnam: On the Mend for My Last Days in Hanoi

My last 2 days in Hanoi were spent getting on the mend.

My Vietnamese mother took her daughters and me to their favorite breakfast place, Cafe Hua, where they have specialized in bun rieu cua (tomato based broth, rice noodles, tofu and grayish blobs of crab paste) for the last 20 years. Yum!

We checked out the President Palace and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where you queue for a good 30 minutes to walk by the body of Ho Chi Minh in a glass capsule. I was reprimanded 3 times by security for trying to take a picture, for having my hands in my pockets and for kneeling by a pond.

Next up, was the Woman's Museum, which is one of my favorite museums abroad. It showcased strong female Vietnamese roles in society - from women's roles in war to supporting their families as street vendors to becoming entrepreneurs.

After an overly aggressive reintroduction to solid non-soup food by eating pork belly, I ended the day with a 3 hour nap and then a fried Vietnamese spring roll cooking lesson by Thuy!

Alas, I said my grateful goodbyes to my Vietnamese family and Thuy drove me on her way to work strapped to my big backpack on her hot, yellow Vespa to start my much needed Spa day.

Its worth pointing out that in the video of the morning Hanoi rush hour commute below the motorbikes on the right are riding up on the sidewalk. Meanwhile, the women motorbike riders are rocking 4-inch heels and fashionable face covers.

NEXT STOP: Myanmar (Burma) and Alberto arrives!!!