Vietnam is very unlike China in the way that parts of some cities are aimed at Western tourists. One of the streets in old quarter is a bit like this. It has a load of small bars and restaurants that you can get western food from as well as the usual Vietnamese food.
Hang Buom, is one that we found a decent wee pub on – vodka and red bull or rum and coke for approx £1. It was close to where we were staying and it was on most maps.
We were due to meet a friends relative who was also in Hanoi at the same time of us so we made this our meeting point.
During the day, we were going to see the military history museum. If you haven’t worked out what the museum is, please switch off the computer and contact a nurse.
The museum was quite interesting as it contained a lot of very old weapons that the Vietnamese military had used over the past several hundred years along with some more recent items that were on display.
When we arrived, it was closed for lunch so after a short wait, we went into the first room and were back out of it about 5 minutes later and wondering if we had just paid to get in and see about 6 things.
We hadn’t. There was much more to see further round the corner. There was info on how so many different countries around the world were supporting the Vietnamese people when the US were in doing whatever it was they were trying to do.
The most interesting part of the museum was the tanks and aircraft that were on display in outside section within the grounds.
From talking to a local guy, he was telling us that there were a lot of tanks and aircraft left behind when the US went away.
Some of the displays mentioned that some of the tanks were taken from the US so whether they were left behind or seized during the conflict is unclear, perhaps it’s a combination of the two ?
One that is not in any doubt is the remains of an American B52 bomber which was blown out of the sky. The mangled remains of this huge machine is the main attraction of the museum.
On the outdoor section are other various tanks and aircraft, one that was used to transport “Uncle Ho” and others that were used to destroy vast numbers of people and places.
After the museum, we walked back to our accommodation which was a homestay in Hanoi and had dinner with our hosts.
For only the 3rd or 4th time in my life, I ate a full vegetarian meal, one guest was awkward, sorry vegetarian, so we all had to suffer for his choices. I’m joking really, I don’t care if someone wants to eat meat or not but the meal was really good.
Veg spring rolls, stir fried veg, rice, noodles and various other things. The staff running the homestay that we were staying in, showed how good they were in the kitchen as the meal was excellent. I say in the kitchen but there was no kitchen, they had one hot plate and managed to cook several dishes for up to 10 peeople on this one hot plate. I think I’d have struggled to do one dish for myself on it.
Later on, we went to meet Eric for a drink which was nice. He had been to a few places that we were planning to go to in Vietnam so it’s always good to hear someone else’s thoughts on a place that you’re about to go to.
It was also nice being able to speak “normal” to someone and they could understand. For some reason, so many people seem to be unable to understand our accents. I can see that it might be difficult for a Vietnamese person but for people who speak English as their first language is a bit much.
You end up having to speak quite slowly at times to them and to over emphasise a lot of words. I can only assume that these people have never watched “Still Game” or “Rab C Nesbit”.