Tales From A Broad

My year of teaching English in Japan is up. Next mission: backpack Asia before going home to the U.S.A. Currently HOME!

a new wardrobe, a crazy house, and water puppets

At the entrance of a Buddhist temple.

The rest of Vietnam looked a lot like other parts of Asia. The Chinese temples, the dragon statues, the markets, and the pagodas. Maybe it was b/c I was visiting it at the end of my trip, but I didn't find much else about Vietnam exceptional.

I made my way from the north to the south by train and bus, stopping in Hue, Hanoi, Da Lat, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon).

Hanoi was quite charming because it has retained much of the colonial buildings that the French have left behind from their imperialist days. It's one of those few cities that is large, but has still kept much of its personality. One of the alleged "must-see-things" is their special water puppet theater where miniature dragons and warriors dance in a black puddle of water to the orchestra of traditional Vietnamese musicians. The magic behind the water puppets is that they are controlled by attached underwater wooden poles that are controlled by a human cast behind a curtain. That was pretty entertaining for awhile and definitely made for a unique thing to do.

Adorable Vietnamese children playing in the streets during the Moon Festival in Hanoi.

Hanoi is also known for Beer Hoi, a roughly 10ยข beer that is homemade with no preservatives or additives. The ridiculously cheap price assures that everyone--tourists and foreigners alike--get happy while the brewer sells it before it goes bad by the end of the day. No preservatives also means no hangover, a nice plus. So, all we did was sit down on those tiny plastic chairs, ordered ourselves a few rounds, and watched all the people walking down the charming Old Quarter.

Pouring Beer Hoi.

Hoi An is world famous for all the tailors around town. I swear you can buy a whole new wardrobe for less than $200. I'm talking tailor-made boots, suits, ties, dresses, skirts, pants, everything!! I went crazy in this town and got myself a new wardrobe compliments of the local village ladies and their sewing skills. I had to mail home all of my new, perfectly made clothes.

Hoi An was right on the river.

Hue is the town where a lot of the country's crafts and cultural items are made. Think conical hats, sandalwood incense and sandals.

Rows of hand-made incense in Hue.

A woman making the notorious conical hat in Hue.

Da Lat was a bit of a let down since it was recommended to me by so many people. It's the Vietnamese highlands, which means there's cooler weather and nice scenery. That turned out to be true, but I also heard that Easy Riders--a group of middle-aged Vietnamese on old motorcycles who gave special tours--were amazing too, but I found them to be average at best.

Maybe the most enjoyable thing about Da Lat was "The Crazy House." It was built by an eccentric, artsy-fartsy woman that dreamt of a topsy-turvy house with stairways that lead to nowhere. God knows how many drugs she did when she dreamt it up, but it's pretty spectacular to see it.

The psychedelic "crazy house" popular with locals and tourists in Da Lat.

Labels: , , ,

« Home | Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »

At 21:56, Blogger beckyyyy said...

WOW CHRISTINE!!! soooo cool!!! i want to go be a monk in Laos!!!    

» Post a Comment