|Backmans in Hanoi||
This is a short version of the previous post about the Bangkok trip. When Weebly updated something my post disappeared.
Anyway, it was a really nice trip. We stayed at Ulrika, Gunnar and Veras place and they took good care of us. We whent so see a loooong laying down buddha, Siam Ocean world and Moon Bar at the 62 floor. Awesome!
I hope we can go back to Ulrika, Gunnar and Vera. Maybe next time we head out to the ocean. Get some pool time with colorfull drinks and nice seafood.
If you want to see more pics click on the link "read more" down below.
Anh Trinh (Mr Trinh) one of the local employees at the embassy was so kind to invite us to go with them to Phat Diem Cathedral and Bai Dinh Buddhist temple. It´s 120 km south of Ha Noi and Anh Trinh had rented a small bus to go in. He had also invited Leif och Eva from Sweden. They know each other since the late 80´s. Leif was in Viet Nam for 2 years working.
Anh Trinh and his family had arranged everything so nice. The lunch we had was at a mountain goat restaurant. A very good lunch with beer, and liquor flavored with goat testicles to go with it. The liquor was really nice. It tasted a little bit like anise.
The church is fairly old. It was built in 1890´s. The architect was not an architect according to our tour guide at the church. Nevertheless, he was talented. He was inspired from the old buildings in Hue where he had been living. The church is active and during our visit it was an sermon and the church was almost full.
Bai Dinh Buddhist tempel on the other hand is new. It was built just a couple of year ago. It´s a huge area of 700 ha on a hillside with a spectacular view from the top. It was hot and sweaty to climb all the stairs to the top, but it was worth it. On the way up it is at least 250 statues of monks aligned the stairs. And the same on the way down. It was approximately 500 statues, and they were all worn at their knees. It was because of a lot of people touched the knees of all the statues for good luck. On the way up you could stay on 2 levels with big temples and inside there where big statues of Buddha and people was praying. The Buddha statues is covered in gold. On the top was the biggest temple and inside there where three big statues of Buddha. Also covered in gold. Where do all this money come from?
During our visits we encountered a lot of beggars. In Ha Noi I have only seen 2 and at the church and temple it was a lot. That makes you wonder, why do they have to cover everything in gold. Why not give the money to those who need it the most. Anyway, I think many people would appreciate the statues and ornaments without gold.
If you want to read and see more pics click on the link "read more" to your right.
As you allready know I have bought a motobike. I thought at this point that I should have the license. But no, it was more difficult then I could imagine. I was sent home all the time with unaccomplished missions. If it not was enough photos it was something else that was wrong.
Finally Malin, at the Swedish camp, told me that she know of someone that helps expat´s to get their motobike license. She did´nt have to twist my arm to get me to hire this man. For 800 000 VND he fixed everything. I just have to go and do the test drive on Sunday. I do not even have to collect the license myself. He deliver it to me when it´s done. I can tell you, it´s worth the money.
I have my motobike, I have bought a brand new helmet and on Sunday I will probably pass the test drive. Viet Nam, here I come.
We went to Mai Chau this longweekend together with a lot of familys. Most of them from the Swedish Camp. JP and Aimee organized the trip and they did a great job. They had rented a homestay for all of us. It was one of those Thai houses on pillars. Under the house was room enought to sit and have our meals.
We went hiking with the kids through the rice fields, rented bikes and went out on the small dirt roads, climbed the long stairs to the cave and we did also some shopping in the village. When its low season the Thai people do handicraft and when the hight season comes they sell it to tourists.
If you can cope with a 4 hours drive one way from Ha Noi I can recommend to go to Mai Chau. Stay at one of the homestays in the village. Its very cheap and the food the house owners prepare for you is very good and the portions are very generous. If you can, bring an extra sleeping pad. The matresses in the houses are very thin. If you´re looking for real beds you can always stay at the lodge. But it`ll cost ya!
See more pictures click the link "read more" to your right.