Hanoi's street scene is craziest I've ever seen

Community Highlights Asia Hanoi's street scene is craziest I've ever seen

The Beaux Arts Presidential Palace was built as the residence of the Governor General under French colonial rule; today it's used as a guest house and reception facility for foreign dignitaries

The Beaux Arts Presidential Palace was built as the residence of the Governor General under French colonial rule; today it's used as a guest house and reception facility for foreign dignitaries

Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum is modeled after that of Lenin; we visited on Monday when the mausoleum is closed; we were told there are often long lines to view the body

Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum is modeled after that of Lenin; we visited on Monday when the mausoleum is closed; we were told there are often long lines to view the body

The 1980 statue of Lenin was given to Vietnam by the USSR; Ho Chi Minh met Lenin in 1922; I wonder what the Vietnamese people think of Lenin today

The 1980 statue of Lenin was given to Vietnam by the USSR; Ho Chi Minh met Lenin in 1922; I wonder what the Vietnamese people think of Lenin today

The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating from the 7th century; 5 million tourists a year visit Hanoi but it's not the easiest city to see

The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating from the 7th century; 5 million tourists a year visit Hanoi but it's not the easiest city to see

Our hotel is easily the narrowest hotel I've ever stayed in!; the building is very deep but only about 10 feet wide which isn't all that unusual here

Our hotel is easily the narrowest hotel I've ever stayed in!; the building is very deep but only about 10 feet wide which isn't all that unusual here

Ngoc Son Temple was beautifully lit at night; Hanoi is sometimes dubbed the Paris of the East for its French influences with tree-fringed boulevards, more than two dozen lakes and thousands of French colonial-era buildings

Ngoc Son Temple was beautifully lit at night; Hanoi is sometimes dubbed the Paris of the East for its French influences with tree-fringed boulevards, more than two dozen lakes and thousands of French colonial-era buildings

Hanoi's neo-Gothic St. Joseph's Cathedral was inaugurated in 1886; public admission is only permitted during Mass so tourists don't have access to the interior

Hanoi's neo-Gothic St. Joseph's Cathedral was inaugurated in 1886; public admission is only permitted during Mass so tourists don't have access to the interior

It's a shame we missed Trump in Hanoi last week; Hanoi is situated in Vietnam's Red River delta, nearly 90 km (56 mi) away from the coast

It's a shame we missed Trump in Hanoi last week; Hanoi is situated in Vietnam's Red River delta, nearly 90 km (56 mi) away from the coast

Hoa Lo Prison Museum is better known as the Hanoi Hilton; most exhibits relate to the prison's use up to the mid-1950s focusing on the Vietnamese struggle for independence from France

Hoa Lo Prison Museum is better known as the Hanoi Hilton; most exhibits relate to the prison's use up to the mid-1950s focusing on the Vietnamese struggle for independence from France

John McCain was the most famous American prisoner in the Hanoi Hilton; there was a nice presentation on some of the other prisoners and their life after imprisonment

John McCain was the most famous American prisoner in the Hanoi Hilton; there was a nice presentation on some of the other prisoners and their life after imprisonment

The Hoa Lo Prison complex was originally much larger; in 1994, 80% o the prison was destroyed to make room for a new high rise complex

The Hoa Lo Prison complex was originally much larger; in 1994, 80% of the prison was destroyed to make room for a new high rise complex

Turtle Tower was built in 1886 in Hoan Kiem Lake; Hanoi is the most affordable international destination in TripAdvisor's annual TripIndex report

Turtle Tower was built in 1886 in Hoan Kiem Lake; Hanoi is the most affordable international destination in TripAdvisor's annual TripIndex report

2019 is the year of the pig and the VIetnamese follow the Chinese calendar; from 1010 until 1802, Hanoi was the most important political center of Vietnam

2019 is the year of the pig and the VIetnamese follow the Chinese calendar; from 1010 until 1802, Hanoi was the most important political center of Vietnam

In the Old Quarter each street typically has all of the local merchants of a particular item; we saw Toy St, Paint St, Coffee St, etc.

In the Old Quarter each street typically has all of the local merchants of a particular item; we saw Toy St, Paint St, Coffee St, etc.

Tran Quoc Pagoda is the most visited pagoda in Hanoi; it was constructed in the 6th century and lies on a small island in Truc Bach Lake

Tran Quoc Pagoda is the most visited pagoda in Hanoi; it was constructed in the 6th century and lies on a small island in Truc Bach Lake

One reason it's so difficult to get around in Hanoi is people sit down to eat street food and motorcycles use them as parking lots; I found it better to walk on the edge of the road

One reason it's so difficult to get around in Hanoi is people sit down to eat street food and motorcycles use them as parking lots; I found it better to walk on the edge of the road

The Temple of Literature; the city is usually cloudy and foggy in winter, averaging only 1.5 hours of sunshine per day in February and March although we had better weather than that

The Temple of Literature; the city is usually cloudy and foggy in winter, averaging only 1.5 hours of sunshine per day in February and March although we had better weather than that

The 200 year old flag tower is a symbol of Hanoi; the tower was one of the few ancient monuments that the French colonists did not destroy

The 200 year old flag tower is a symbol of Hanoi; the tower was one of the few ancient monuments that the French colonists did not destroy

Hanoi has about 7 million people which is second most in Vietnam after Ho Chi Minh City which lies 1720 kms to the south; just trying to cross the street was a life and death challenge

Hanoi has about 7 million people which is second most in Vietnam after Ho Chi Minh City which lies 1720 kms to the south; just trying to cross the street was a life and death challenge

The War Memorial is a monument which commemorates the sacrifice of courageous men and women during the Vietnam War; the design is a fusion of traditional Vietnamese and modernist architecture

The War Memorial is a monument which commemorates the sacrifice of courageous men and women during the Vietnam War; the design is a fusion of traditional Vietnamese and modernist architecture

This area runs along the Red River; there was a very upscale area we saw on the way to the train station that looked similar to Western cities

This area runs along the Red River; there was a very upscale area we saw on the way to the train station that looked similar to Western cities

I couldn't believe there was a Popeye's in the Hanoi airport; over three-quarters of the jobs in Hanoi are state-owned and Hanoi has in-migration controls which allow the city to accept only people who add skills to Hanoi's economy

I couldn't believe there was a Popeye's in the Hanoi airport; over three-quarters of the jobs in Hanoi are state-owned and Hanoi has in-migration controls which allow the city to accept only people who add skills to Hanoi's economy

The Vietnamese currency is the dong; 1 USD is currently worth 23,200 dong so the bills are all very large denominations

The Vietnamese currency is the dong; 1 USD is currently worth 23,200 dong so the bills are all very large denominations

Tran Quoc is the oldest pagoda in Hanoi; it's located on a small island in West Lake; since 2014, Hanoi has consistently been voted in the world's top ten destinations by TripAdvisor

Tran Quoc is the oldest pagoda in Hanoi; it's located on a small island in West Lake; since 2014, Hanoi has consistently been voted in the world's top ten destinations by TripAdvisor

I loved this road that has mosaics that go on for 4 miles; developed on the occasion of the Millennial Anniversary of Hanoi, it is the world’s largest ceramic mosaic and was awarded a Guinness World Records certificate

I loved this road that has mosaics that go on for 4 miles; developed on the occasion of the Millennial Anniversary of Hanoi, it is the world’s largest ceramic mosaic and was awarded a Guinness World Records certificate

This humble, traditional stilt house is where Ho Chi Minh lived intermittently between 1958 and 1969; you can't go inside but you can see inside at furnishings and mementos from Ho's life

This humble, traditional stilt house is where Ho Chi Minh lived intermittently between 1958 and 1969; you can't go inside but you can see inside at furnishings and mementos from Ho's life

The Ho Chi Minh Museum opened in 1990, a hundred years after the birth of Ho Chi Minh; I went early to avoid the crowds but wasn't very successful at that

The Ho Chi Minh Museum opened in 1990, a hundred years after the birth of Ho Chi Minh; I went early to avoid the crowds but wasn't very successful at that

The One Pillar Pagoda was built in 1049 and is dedicated to the goddess of mercy and protector of children, Quan Am; the pagoda is included in the ticket for the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex

The One Pillar Pagoda was built in 1049 and is dedicated to the goddess of mercy and protector of children, Quan Am; the pagoda is included in the ticket for the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex

According to a recent ranking by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hanoi will be the fastest growing city in the world in terms of GDP growth from 2008 to 2025

According to a recent ranking by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hanoi will be the fastest growing city in the world in terms of GDP growth from 2008 to 2025

This group is not at all unusual as whole families crowd onto a single motorcycle; it's winter for the local with highs of only 75 but I was still sweating in just t-shirt and shorts

This group is not at all unusual as whole families crowd onto a single motorcycle; it's winter for the local with highs of only 75 but I was still sweating in just t-shirt and shorts

Our group attended a traditional water puppet show; photos don't do justice to the constant honking and madness of Hanoi's streets

Our group attended a traditional water puppet show; photos don't do justice to the constant honking and madness of Hanoi's streets

The Temple of Literature, dedicated to Confucius, was founded in 1070; six years later this was the site of Vietnam's first university

The Temple of Literature, dedicated to Confucius, was founded in 1070; six years later this was the site of Vietnam's first university

Motorcycles are the most common means of getting around; bizarrely they go in every imaginable direction including the wrong way on one way streets

Motorcycles are the most common means of getting around; bizarrely they go in every imaginable direction including the wrong way on one way streets

This featured blog entry was written by RNRiggins from the blog The frugal travels of a vagabond.
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By RNRiggins

Posted Mon, Mar 25, 2019 | Comments