Tet Tour 2000
Celebrating the Year of the Dragon

The relentless rain that had brought flooding the previous month had gone, but a day before everyone arrived the temperature plummeted to the low 50's. Still, even in Hanoi where the Vietnamese are a little more reserved than their gregarious southern cousins, everything was upbeat as Tet approached. Peach blossom and kumquat trees lined the streets, strapped to bicycles and delivered by cyclo.

We took comfort in food and was it spectacular. It is one aspect of Hanoi that has changed in recent years, and we enjoyed exploring a couple of Hanoi's finest French-Vietnamese restaurants.

Alfredo also had the good fortune of finding decent, even good, wine wherever we went allying his fear of a trip with only beer.

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Peach Blossoms

Tet preparatinsare not complete for any Vietnamese family without a sprig from a Peach Blossom tree. The streets of Hanoi are filled with them as well as kumquat trees -- another sysmbol of Tet.

A Veteran in Hanoi

John is given a welcome from two of Ho Chi Minh's guard outside the mausoleum who were kind enough to also pose with the group.

Tet in the Old Quarter

Hanoi's Old Quarter has a population density greater than Calcutta and it seems everyone was on the street for Tet. Here Deepa and Piyush pause between photos.

Legacy of Indochine

Hanoi is filled with majestic French Colonial buildings, many which serve as government buildings, hotels and embassies. This was the former palace of the president of Indochine.

Water Puppets

An old tradition in north Vietnam, water puppets theater is unlike any other. The show recreates ancient folk tales-- mostly about fisherman -- accompanied by music and song with a lively style of puppet movement.

A Prayer Offered

Tet is also a time to remember and pray for ancestors. Here a young girl offers burning joss sticks one the steps of the One Pillar Pagoda.

All photographs by VeloAsia

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