16/09/17 – We woke up and went up for breakfast around 10:00, after that we had planned to Google some routes to go sightseeing but the heavy rains were still pouring and the wifi still not useable, this was a great start to our trip as we also needed to contact our banks and ‘Bamba Tour’ that we booked through STA Travel to get the ball rolling…
So instead we donned our water-proofs and braved the rain, we thought we would go for a wander round and see what was nearby. We didn’t find that much, as we later learnt that we went in the wrong direction from all the attractions, we did find a small coffee shop where we had our first and 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 and we soon discovered our mistake, we were also able to contact Bamba and find our route back to the hotel.
On returning the rains had finally subsided and 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 20:00, so it was just kicking off as we arrived. We walked around the lake and took 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 and kids were playing everywhere in the roads, groups of people playing ‘hacky-sack’ and other variations, 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 becaise Asian architecture seems a little too small for Dan who filled the archway, it got even funnier as I noticed a group of ladies sniggering about it and asked if they could have a photo, seems my giant man has just become a tourist attraction 🙂
We would soon learn that we were both tourist attractions, him for his height and me for my white blonde hair that they love to touch and compliment.
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) and a few other interesting items, we decided quite quickly not to do it again. The king prawns on there were huge and tasty though so it wasn’t all a miss and would still recommend it for the experience alone.
After a long day we headed back for some much needed rest…