Thursday, November 12, 2009


We flew from Bangkok to Hanoi for our first stop in Vietnam. We loved the city! We stayed in the Old Quarter which was full of narrow twisty streets that changed names every few blocks. French colonial buildings with balconies line many of the streets. Many of the street names meant a type of good that was sold on that street, i.e. Bat Dan (street) means wooden bowls, Hang Ca means fish etc. Some of the streets we saw definately were still selling a single item, Hang Giay is still lined with shops selling shoes. The streets are busy, full of motorbikes, bicycle rickshaws, bicycles, street vendors and buses. Motorbikes and cars constantly beep their horns, though no one ever stops or turns around. The sidewalks are crowded of parked motorbikes and street vendors selling food and drinks to patrons sitting at tiny plastic tables in child-sized chairs or on stools.

Volamos de Bangkok a Hanoi para nuestra primera parada en Vietnam. Nos encanto esta ciudad. Estuvimos en la ciudad el llamada Old Quarter que esta llena de calles estrechas y confusas. El nombre de las calles generalmente significa el tipo de productos que venden en la calle, por ejemplo Bat Dan que significa platos hondos de madera. Las calles estan llenas de gente y trafico con motocicletas, carros y gente comiendo en todos lados con mesas y sillas para ninos de kinder.

Omar drinking Vietnamese drip coffee. The coffee is very strong and served black or with condensed milk making it very sweet. Took some getting used to.

Omar tomando cafe Vietnamese. Este cafe es muy fuerte y se sirve con leche condensada (La Lechera).

Hoan Kiem Lake in the Old Quarter./Es un lago en el centro de la ciudad.

Street scenes/Las calles de Hanoi

Motorbikes waiting for the streetlight to turn green.

Yum! Pho Gai for lunch.

The child sized tables and chairs at a street food vendor./Esta es la clasica comida en todas las calles (con mesas y sillas de ninos).

Amy en una entrevista de trabajo, afortunamente no se quedo con la posicion.

One of the many food markets

The Temple of Literature, founded in 1070 and built in traditional Vietnamese architecture. The temple is dedicated to Confucius and honors the nation's finest scholars. It was the site of Vietnam's first university which was established in 1076. The complex includes five courtyards and several pavilions.

Museum of Ethnology

Omar standing in front of models of different ethnic group's traditional homes. The actual homes were built outside in a courtyard around the museum. There's a picture below of Amy climbing up the ladder to a traditional community house--built by a whole village for festivals, visitors and community events.

Atras de Omar estan las differentes maquetas de casas traditionales de los grupos ethnicos. Abajo hay uno foto de Amy subiendo las escaleras de una de las casas comunales--construida para que en las festividades los visitantes se puedan hospedar ahi.

Our friend Molly Barret's niece Joanie, her husband Andy and their beautiful daughters Fiona and Matilda had us over to their home in Hanoi for a delicious dinner. They moved to Hanoi in August for a job Joanie has working on an immunization project for the global health NGO PATH. It was so nice to meet them, have a relaxing home cooked meal and sit down to dinner with a family. Thank you!

Joanie es sobrina de una de las amigas de los papas de Amy. Su esposo Andy y sus hijas Fiona y Matilda nos recibieron en su casa de Hanoi. Andy cocino para nostros una cena Vietnamese deliciosa. Estuvo muy bonito haber conocido y convivido con esta muy linda familia.