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TERRI 31/3/10 - Hanoi

AUSTRALIA | Monday, 26 April 2010 | Views [218]

We aimlessly roamed around Hanoi – discovering some new nooks and crannies that we hadn’t found last time including “Grave Headstone” Street, “Buddha Shrine Adornments” Street and Toy Street filled with lots of enormous fluffy animals and cheap plastic trinkets. We were thinking about indulging in a little shopping but didn’t unearth anything that caught our interest. We found a minimalist, Western looking cafe/cooking school for lunch where the children drooled over the menu which included sandwiches! They both had a chicken, bacon and salad roll while Adrian and I shared some Vietnamese salads including my favourite – lotus. We spent a little time people watching around the lake and had a very relaxing day.

In the afternoon, after realising that we were not able to get a room as it had been double booked, we booked flights with Jetstar back to HCM the next day. We decided the price tag of $10 more per person than the sleeper on the Reunification Express (which has an average speed of 50k’ p/hr) was not a sacrifice when we would land at the other end of the country in less than 2 hours instead of “approximately” 40hours. By this time, we were starting to feel a little time poor and concerned that we wouldn’t have enough time for a decent look around both the Mekong and Cambodia.

That night we went in search of dinner and were happy to discover “Gecko” – a cafe/bar/restaurant and cooking school. And here is the address as it comes highly recommended (although we spent a little more than usual enjoying drinks, desserts and getting a meal each instead of sharing 3 mains!) – 56 Hang Trong with website: www.geckocafe.net    I gambled with another curry order and this time I wasn’t disappointed with a tasty red chicken curry, although not spicy. Adrian had a claypot with coconut prawns and rice while Asher and Nimah ordered a triple decker toasted sandwich with tuna that was accompanied by French fries. Asher suggested it was the, “best tuna sandwich ever!” As the children enjoyed Vietnamese fruit salad with ice-cream, Adrian and I were served flaming rum and chocolate bananas which went down a treat as the drizzly cold weather breached the cosy, funky restaurant. Along with an Australian TV network playing, the music was cool while the decor was a mix of ethnic art and eclectic fabrics. It was a delightful find and I believe they have a few more eateries around the country with the same name. In the downpour, we skipped home a little concerned about our very early departure from the dorm the next day- and hoping we wouldn’t leave anything behind in the dark or disturb anyone at 4:30am!

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