16/09/17 – We woke up & went up for breakfast around 10am, after that we had planned to Google some routes to go sightseeing but the heavy rains were still pouring & the wifi still not useable, what a great start to our trip! We also needed to contact our banks & the ‘Bamba Tour’ that we booked through STA Travel to get the ball rolling…
So instead we donned our water-proofs & braved the rain, we thought we would go for a wander & see what was nearby. We didn’t find much, as we later learnt that we went in the wrong direction from all the attractions! 😂🤣 We found a small coffee shop where we had our first & very comical practice at charades, to sign we wanted wifi to an older gentleman that knew no English what-so-ever. He kindly let us use the wifi & we soon discovered our mistake. We were finally able to contact Bamba & find our route back to the hotel.
On returning, the rain had finally subsided so we Googled local places of interest, we made our way to ‘Hoan Kiem lake’ where we found much more activity, they have Russian carnivals every weekend, which start at 8pm, so it was just kicking off as we arrived. We walked around the lake & took soo many pictures. In the dark it’s lit up really nicely, there’s a beautiful red bridge that leads to an island that has a temple on it. If you walk further round there’s an isolated Pagoda on it’s own little island in the middle of the lake, it’s extremely picturesque.
They had closed off the roads, so no more crazy traffic & kids were playing everywhere in the roads, groups of men playing ‘hacky-sack’, groups of middle-aged women dancing together, not for attention but fitness – it seemed. We stopped to take a picture in the archway of a really cool building. It was so funny because Asian architecture is far too small for Dan (6’4) who filled the archway, it got even funnier when I noticed some ladies giggling & pointing at it, so I asked if they would like a photo, which they were very happy about. Seems my giant man has just become a tourist attraction 🙂
We would soon learn that we were both tourist attractions, him for his height & me for my white blonde hair that they love to touch. (Had to get used to people just touching me)
On the way back to the hotel we walked past a street vendor, the food smelt soo good it was too hard to resist, they had an open counter where you pick out what you want, they then partly cook it for you on their large BBQ grill, then bring you an oil lamp stove to finish it off on your table.
The idea was fun but some of the choices of skewers we had made were questionable…. Turned out one set was chicken knuckles (very little to no meat on them), we decided quite quickly not to do it again. The king prawns on there were huge & tasty though, so it wasn’t all a miss & would still recommend it for the experience alone.
After a long day we headed back for some much needed rest… Zzzzz