Tuesday, 6 April 2010

West Lake Wonders

I am sitting in my hotel room at the Sofital in Hanoi looking at the fabled West Lake from my window.  There is not however much to see, as the sight is obscured by light rain which has dogged my visit thus far.

Lonely Planet Hanoi & Halong Bay EncounterThis is my first visit to Vietnam and the city is much as I expected with lots of honking motorbikes weaving their way through traffic, women in their traditional conical hats peddling their wares and a very courteous population.

The houses are narrow and at three levels with a balustrade and balcony on the second.  Most are in a state one often sees in in Asian cities but here and there are signs of renovation.

There is local fruit in abundance, although much of it is not of what one my term 'export quality' but tasty nevertheless.

The coffee is excellent and robust in character. One shot at  breakfast is enough to get the eyeballs rolling!

My other observation is just how many pagoda temples there are in the city and architecturally they look very similar to Chinese Buddhist temples that I have observed elsewhere in South East Asia.  Their enduring presence comes as a pleasant surprise.

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