2014.1.10 Hanoi Day 2
After reading some travel guides online, and influence of grumbling tummies, we decided to join a food tour. Being cheapies on a low budget, our first choice was Free Food Tour, which we couldn’t reach at their listed phone number XD. Finally settled on a 25 USD tour by…(lemme check). Since it was already closing on noon, we opted for the dinner tour starting at 18:00.
Lunch first. Pho 10 was absolutely amazing.
Vietnam also has these Chinese 炸油條 but is slightly crunchier in texture. Unlike the Chinese version, this one is meant to be broken up in pieces and soaked in the noodle soup to be eaten. (Although it does taste fine on its own, hehe).
After lunch, we decided for a leisurely tour of Old Quarter and Ho Kiem lake. First stop was to purchase tickets for the Thang Long Water Puppet Show. Man, that place is a huge building but we’re definitely not the only tourists to totally walk by. Tourist maps are outdated. The huge building name was in golden lettering but more likely than not hidden by trees. And the narrow doorway next to a tiny ticketing window next to a huge cafe/bar looked almost like a back door. We asked another group of tourists which pointed to the opposite of the lake, their guidebook is seriously off XD. Good thing the security guard was very nice and pointed us the way.
We still had a little time before the next show, and decided a tea or coffee overlooking Ho Kiem Lake would be nice. Just randomly selected this small cozy cafe, iFeel.
Tickets. You could pay extra to bring your camera (they doormen actually doesn’t stop you bringing it in), and you maybe get a better seat, but guards inside does nothing to prevent you from whipping out your DSLR and shooting away. Just be polite and reasonable to others behind you because soon enough everyone starts lifting their iPhones and Samsungs and even DSLRs above their head for a clear photo and anyone sitting behind will start cursing.
The show is short excerpts of famous(?) stories, the only one i recognized was the turtle shrine in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake. The whole show was in Vietnamese and one really couldn’t understand a word. For me, the show was interesting because I couldn’t figure out how the puppets were being controlled unless the puppeteers were diving underwater??? Hmmm.