Last Minute Shopping
14.01.2008 - 16.01.2008 12 °C
We decided to have a quiet time over the last two days of the trip. Hanoi has become rather cold and we are now wearing the winter gear that we bought for Sapa. There is a lot to like about this city. An interesting sight in the early mornings around the lake here is the frenetic display of exercising put on by several hundred Hanoians as soon as they wake up. There are all sorts of power walking and gymnastics routines, complex meditation rituals, massed tai chi and dancing classes, and dozens of badminton and assorted shuttlecock based team sports. A fascinating sight is the assembly of an entire weights gym along the pavement. It appears and is used for an hour or so and then it all suddenly vanishes. There was even a really fit looking middle aged man doing a sort of martial arts thing whilst walking backwards into the traffic. Makes our daily walks through Queen's Park seem a bit on the dull side.
The people who run the hotel that we are staying in had a family wedding today. There has been great excitement with setting up of tables and women wearing traditional dress and so on ever since we booked in. The bride appeared today and they had some sort of wedding breakfast in the middle of where the guests go to their rooms. It is a very skinny building and it was amazing to see the family continue to look after guests whilst celebrating a fairly extravagant family event. We all just wandered through and around the celebrations. We may have even appeared in some of the photos.
As the weather was fairly bad, we decided not to go on any more excursions. Hanoi is a great place to shop and eat and Sonia and I have been doing her best to further that reputation. We had to buy another extra suitcase for the flight tomorrow. We leave at around 2 in the afternoon and overnight in Kuala Lumpur before flying on to Brisbane.