from Halong Bay the weather was even wetter and colder than before.
We bundled up to explore the many sights and dine at the great restaurants
for the next couple of days. After dinner on our last night we went
to see the traditional water puppets theater -- a fascinating show
during which the puppets are controlled by rods under water. Halfway
thorugh the performance Jim's fatigued head began to bob up and
down, drawing almost as much attention as the puppets.
Our bus was leaving Saigon to meet us in Hue after our flight there
from Hanoi, but I had been warned they may be turned back -- no
vehicles were being allowed through to Hue as sections of Highway
One were heavily damaged and under repair.
situation became gloomier when we were notified by train officials
that out bikes were being bumped from the train to Hue to make room
for emergency relief supplies. As the group discussed this we half-joked
that we could always make it a kayak tour of Vietnam instead.
our intrepid group was still in high spirits and anxious to begin
riding. Horst, a 63 year-old, recent Pan Am Games cycling champ
couldn't wait until we reached Hue and unpacked his bike to brave
the thick traffic of Hanoi. Perhaps it would be the only riding
we would have for awhile? That evening finally came good news -
Sinh and our bus had made it to Hue!
During the French Colonial
period, Hanoi was the capitol of all French Indochina. Today it
retains much of that French occupation, most obvious in the architecture.
Hundreds of villas and other French-built structures dominate the
city's tree-lined boulevards.
by VeloAsia 1999
taxis have steadily begun to replace the cyclo, but they still have
thier place hauling goods or for a pleasant, quiet roll through the
Kiem, or Lake of the Restored Sword dominates the center of Hanoi.
Early each morning, elders practice tai chi, play badmiton, and greet
the new day..
gathering of older men play early morning chess on Hoan Kiem Lake.
the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum we encounter a group of veterans touring
the grounds. Horst asked this well-decorated soldier to pose with
him which he was delighted to do.
sidewalk shave. Haircuts and deep ear cleaning are also available.
of a house in the Old Quarter, an area of the city that has been inhabited
for over a thousand years and boasts a population density higher than