Off to Asia

The morning of the day we flew from Calgary to Vancouver it was -2C with 4″/10cm of snow cover, this was the first snow of the year, definitely a sign we needed to leave.

We did not fly until 9pm, having 4.5 hours in Vancouver prior to our connecting flight leaving at 1:50am going to Taiwan.

The gate in Calgary

The flights to Vancouver and Taipei were uneventful. The Taiwanese could teach Disney lessons on hiding lineups, and that’s saying something. We lined up in a hall, moving through a passageway only to enter another hall which had another winding lineup several rows deep. This lineup was to clear Security to access our gate for our next flight.

In Taiwan, waiting to clear Security.

Finally at our gate in Taipei for our flight.

Again, the flight was uneventful, clearing customs upon arrival was a none-issue as we had previously applied for and received a visa online.

Our hotel pickup was awaiting us upon collecting our luggage in Hanoi and existing the airport building, who took us directly to our hotel located in the ‘Old Quarter’.

Once we had checked into our hotel at around 1pm, showered and dressed in shorts and T-shirts we were off to explore. The streets here are very busy with motorcycle traffic and a sprinkling of automobiles.

On our walkabout we were informed about a local brewery that made craft beer located near the Cathedral and decided to pay a visit.

In Hanoi there are many factories that manufacture goods for Nike, Adidas, The North Face and many more companies. Goods from these factories are available in local stores at very reasonable prices.

From the Pasteur brewery we went looking for some items we wanted to purchase while here, by the time we had finished it was time to find some dinner. We had been informed about a local restaurant that specialized in Bunh Cha, this is a local delicacy similar to Pho and served with Fried Spring rolls, we also tried a local Hanoi beer.

Next day while out walking we visited a small lake close to our hotel which has a couple of islands with old buildings built upon them, one being a Buddhist temple.

The bridge to the temple is full of lights when dark.

After strolling around the streets of Hanoi for a couple of days it became quite apparent that certain streets all manufactured/sell variations of the same product, one street made items out of Stainless Steel, another street carvings of one kind or another and yet another was all kitchen supplies and so on.

This afternoon, we found the street, actually it was an area that was the beer district. It was late afternoon, so the area was quiet, but the activity picks up in the evening when the streetlights come on.

Here’s a family of five and their dog on their scooter.

We also visited and old city prison that was called the Hoa Lo during the French occupation.

Hanoi Hilton

The Hanoi Hilton in a 1970 Aerial reconnaissance photo by United States Air Force.

Hỏa Lò Prison (Vietnamese: Nhà tù Hỏa Lò; French: Prison Hỏa Lò) was a prison in Hanoi originally used by the French Colonists in Indochina for Political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for U.S prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. During this later period, it was known to American POWs as the “Hanoi Hilton“. The prison was demolished during the 1990s, although the gatehouse remains as a museum. (Wikipedia)

As we left the prison an old military style jeep vehicle pulled-up, these can be rented with a driver for tours.

Next: Hanoi


4 thoughts on “Off to Asia”

  1. Enjoying the pics. We leave on Monday for Progreso. We can’t wait to get out of the cold. We will miss you guys.

  2. I love that you always manage to find a local brewery within 24 hours no matter where in the world your travels take you. Makes me LOL. Love commentary and pictures. Keep them coming.


  3. Michele & Gilles / Yucatan

    Wow guys….we can feel the energy of your adventure.. makes one want to come visit! Miss you and please keep sharing! Sending Christmas wishes and an amazing New Year your way!

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