I first travelled to Vietnam many years ago, when I was in my very early twenties. I fell in love and said I would return – nearly two decades later I took my young family to visit the place that holds such a special place in my heart.  So much has changed about the country in that time yet in so many other ways it is exactly the same.

I stumbled upon this blog again recently, managed to remember how to log in and found this old post about Hanoi sitting in my drafts folder. Pressing publish now!

September 2015.

Children making their own rice crepes on the street, ducking into old narrow alleys to eat in someone’s kitchen converted to tiny diner, marvelling over how much a person can carry on two wheels or over a shoulder, bartering with patient vegetable sellers and sipping ice cold Hanoi beer on plastic milk crates.

The same snarl of electrical cables casually secured overhead, this time hovering over a few more vans/cars than there were last time I visited where it was all scooters and bicycles.

Cooling off with green rice ice cream sold by a stand under the fig trees since 1958, by the emerald green lake that seems to be adorned with tai chi practitioners at all times of the day, tiny turtles serenely paddling by.

We’ll be back Hanoi.

Stay: We loved our little room with balcony at the Oriental Suites Hotel, feasting on mangosteen procured from a street seller by our 11 year old daughter, waving at the man across the road perched precariously on a 4 storey rooftop.

Eat: Hanoi street food! We ate everything and didn’t get sick – we took our own cutlery with us wherever we went and plenty of antibacterial hand wash. No probs! We also loved Orchid Restaurant, it also moonlights as a book store.

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Last day of summer

Although much of our home is new, most of it is still exactly the same…just with sturdy floors, a leak proof roof and hydronic heating!  Our girl will turn 100 yrs old in a few years and she is still very much herself, just refreshed.  Hard to believe it’s now the end of Summer and we are looking forward to being warm and cosy in our home this Winter (last Winter was FREEZING as we started renovations in bitter weather).  A few pics below.

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I look forward to planting up the garden in late Winter, our  garden isn’t complete without our old vegie garden.  Still, the little planter is doing quite well!  I’ve made endless jars of pesto with the crazy basil of both purple and emerald varieties.

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