Thursday, 23 February 2017

Hanoi (2)

The plan this day before we were there, after the highlight of Ha Long Bay and Trang An, is to shop till we dropped before we wave our goodbyes to Vietnam! But were a bit skeptical after few nights of "survey".

Anyways after breakfast, we packed our bag so that they could transfer our luggage to our standard room (the previous 3 nights was free-upgrade to premium room).

We first walked out to the hotel in search of the oldest church of Hanoi after I asked the tour guide yesterday for the location.

Without thinking too much about it, we walked towards the direction and were not able to locate it even with Google map. I got agitated after some 30 mins walk or even more, having asked the local guide, we finally found it and realized that it is situated very near to our hotel!

The church was built by the French in 1886. It is a simple church and the exterior speaks the 100+ + years of service.
Small and simple....

Some of the "exquisite" part.

We were being "chased out" rudely by an elderly man after about 10mins in it. We reckon it was the time the church closed to visitors.
Once outside, we met an adorable fellow and it caught the attention of a few others as well.
So adorable and docile.
She has soft-spot for the man-best-friend creatures at all times!
We then strolled around the area and walked further to Dong Xuan Market where they sells literally everything just like Cha-Tu-Chak in Bangkok.

This street is full with shop for the worshippers.

We ended in this part of Dong Xuan market with exotic food!
We then found ourselves in Lake Hokiem area again and decided to "chill" at the cafe to "recharge" ourselves!
We are now opposite the place where we "chilled" the day we arrived.

Chilling and recharging our "battery"....
When our "battery" was charged, we walked to the lake.

It was nice to just stroll around Lake Hokiem .
And we found ourselves in the posh area of Hanoi.

We spent a very short time in the empty posh mall and had our lunch in a premium pho shop featured in travel magazine.
The beef is from USA.
After the late lunch, we had no idea at all of what to do next!

Referring to the map we had, the only place we had interest in is the...prison!
Maison Central is built by the French in 1896 during the war.

It was in operation during 1896 - 1954 making it 120 years old. 

The super heavy duty door reminds me of a computer game.

Prison is of course not a nice place to visit. It tells stories of brutality beyond words as usual.

During the Vietnam war, it kept a lots of Vietnamese revolutionaries inmates and also American soldiers. They were treated with inhuman cruelty beyond words!

The cells are so tiny and bare that even women and children were without proper basic living conditions.
 The inmates were shackled at the ankles with these metal strips.

And this is the scaffold.

 The terrifying interrogation rooms.
The altar outside. Reminds me of the extremely disturbing museum in Nanjing.

After we walked back to the hotel and showered, we had our dinner at the tiny eatery I like.

The standard room we had is at the top floor. It is complete with plaster ceiling and nice wall paper. Looks good enough until we lied down on the badly sinking mattress! 

 This looks like 5 star ceiling....
 Very nice wall panel.....
But this is the bathroom wall....

Anyway, it was the last night. The next morning, we took the taxi arranged by the hotel to the airport and ended our trip in Vietnam.

Overall, I would say it was quite an enjoyable trip. The world recognised Unesco site of Hang Long bay is really a memorable journey. We had also enjoyed the nice boating in the charming Trang An complex. 

The culture and lifestyle of the Vietnamese is unique and eye-opener for us.

Goodbye Vietnam! 

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