Xin Chao, Hanoi (day 3)

Today I continued exploring Hanoi with a motorbike. The highlights included the Phu Tay Ho Pagoda, Botanical Garden, Temple of Literature, and Peace Park.

20170103_094936Phu Tay Ho is located at the West Lake (Ho Tay) in the centre of Hanoi.

20170103_095021Locals fishing next to the pagoda.

20170103_095052Very calm and peaceful in the morning.

20170103_095109The pagoda and the tree.

20170103_095136The fruit and the dragon welcome visitors.

20170103_095243Inside the temple.

20170103_095727Seafood :).

20170103_095743Fruit garden in the temple area.

20170103_095824What a cute architectural design!

20170103_095847Spot for praying.

20170103_095909This tree is gorgeous.

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People praying. It’s unbelievable, but I was the only foreigner at this serene place. I just sat next to the water and enjoyed the atmosphere. Why do tourists go to touristic places only?

In Saigon someone told me there is not much to do in Hanoi. I was also told I must try some local dish, the name of which I didn’t bother to remember.

This is the difference between tourism and travelling. You can do what TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet tell you, go on guided tours, and treat cuisine as the only experience worth of trying.

Isn’t this another face of consumerism and conformism?

Or you can raise your middle finger towards all reviews, and try out yourself: go to less known places, get lost in the city, use gestures to communicate with the locals.

When in Hanoi, do no go to Tran Quoc Pagoda. Go to Phu Tay Ho. Or go to both to feel the difference.

20170103_102642

After visiting the fantastic Phu Tay Ho, I took a walk in the Botanical Garden. I didn’t find it special, but it was nice to dive into a green oasis in the middle of Hanoi. And you can do sports there too :).

20170103_102708Walking among the trees.

20170103_102759Lake in the garden.

20170103_102804Cute path.

20170103_111141My next stop was the Temple of Literature. The man at the motor bike parking marked my bike with chalk :). 

20170103_111552The Temple of Literature, or the Temple of Confucius, is the first and oldest university in Vietnam founded in 1076 (!). Chinese culture had a big influence on Vietnam (which doesn’t stop the Vietnamese from disliking the Chinese :)).

20170103_112303  The architecture has an old imperial style.

20170103_112437Marvellous place despite an overwhelming number of tourists.

20170103_112640Inside the Temple.

20170103_113147Once I stepped away from a more crowded touristic zone, I was rewarded with a concert of traditional Vietnamese music.

20170103_132957Having local cuisine for lunch.

20170103_154323View to the lake on the way to the Peace Park.

20170103_164919I found the Peace Park vast and empty. 

20170103_165048Zero foreigners. That’s good!

20170103_165002Perhaps the park was quite empty as it’s quite far. It took me about an hour by motorbike to get there. And on the way back I experienced an unforgettable Hanoi traffic jam :).

2 thoughts on “Xin Chao, Hanoi (day 3)

  1. Now that’s an adventurous way to get around Hanoi – on bike. Have you noticed that the Vietnamese still retain Chinese characters on temples, traditional culture, eventhough they use a romanized alphabet…

    Like

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