Saturday, April 5, 2014

YOLO folks in Hanoi, Vietnam Jan 2014

This is typical Vietnam telecom wiring.  It is such a snarl of wires it even has been represented on t-shirts.  This was the view from our room at the first hotel we stayed at in Vietnam.  Hanoi was a treat, though, and was my favorite place in Vietnam.

 Our hotel was on the 'tin makers street'.  Similar craftsmen all grouped together on the same street.  We saw a street for tin, plastic, children's toys and diapers, mannequins, electronics, etc.  Our street was shiny!

Jason wouldn't fit into any of the clothes here! 
 This lady was selling bread products from the basket on her head and the bags and baskets she carried.
 Cobras and scorpions and other poisonous critters in rice wine.  Talk about snake oil salesmen....
 A mannequin shop on mannequin street. Hadn't seen red ones before.  And there were a string of these shops on the street.
 These are intricately carved greeting cards that stand up when you open them.  They are works of art--very finely cut paper.  They sold them from baskets on the street or stalls.
 A lady selling 'Buddha's hands' fruit.  It looks like giant hands but isn't edible.  They use it in shrines where they put stuff for offerings.  Small shrines with food, tea, fruit and incense are everywhere and in almost every business foyer.
 Candy, dates, raisins and other sweets for sale in a sidewalk shop.
 This lady was selling teapots and tea cups from her bicycle.
 Jason, Myra, Maureen, Paul, Paraic, and Karen enjoying 'bia hoi' (fresh beer) at a street corner in Hanoi.  For fifty cents, we got a glass of cold beer and could sit and watch the people go by.  Great fun!!
 Maureen and Paul from Calypso.  We teased Paul unmercifully for months about being a 'shirt lifter' for buying this hat.  We later realized that this form of a 'coolie hat' was for women. The men had a different design.  He ended up with 3of them when he returned to Malyasia.  And he changed the feminine lavender ribbon for a red one; didn't matter, we kept teasing him.
 A guy pouring bia hoi at a restaurant.  He just moved the hose over the glasses and they were whisked off to be served to customers.
 On our bus to Halong Bay we stopped at a stone carving center.  Acres of these stone statues surrounded the rest stop.
 A towering mountain of burning trash outside of Hanoi.
 Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum/tomb in Hanoi.  Cameras and phones are not allowed inside.  His body was embalmed and lies in state inside this building.  We filed past on our tour.  He looked a bit grey to me.  He goes to Russia for two months each year for 'maintenance'.
 An armed guard at the entrance to Ho Chi Minh's Tomb.
 Rice baskets painted to look like faces.  They are more for art than work at this stage.
 Offerings at a shrine in a temple. Giant grapefruit, Buddha's hands, bananas, mandarins and flowers along with the burning incense sticks adorned the shrine.
 Karen with a bit of dragon fruit on a stick.  Some lady in a park just gave it to me.
 We stopped at a lacquer art factory outside of Hanoi.  The white sparkles were tiny bits of egg shells broken up.  They make entire pictures out of the eggshells.  They cook them til they turn different shades of brown and make outstanding pictures.
 After they pictures are made and the lacquer applied, these guys wash the pictures in water to wash off the excess lacquer before they put on another layer.  A very time-consuming, manual process to make a proper lacquer picture.
 They also paint pictures and lacquer over them, too.  These are just a few of the pictures for sale on the wall of the factory.  Very colorful.  Just not practical for a boat.
 In the Museum of Ethnology, this exhibit is of a bicycle carrying fish traps.  You can see how they overload any vehicle with items for sale.

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