Thursday, 16 June 2016

The 15 Day trip to Vietnam - The Mandarin Route - Day 8 (afternoon) - Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda; cycle rickshaw ride around the city; dinner - The 25th of May 2016

We soon came across one of Hanoi's icons, the Chua Mot Cot or the one Pillar Pagoda constructed by Emperor Ly Thai Tong in 1049 AD.
It looks particularly unique in a rather small and elegant lotus pond, which is associated to the legend in which the King having no successor is said to have been visited by Quan Am, Goddess of Mercy in one of his dreams. Sitting on a lotus flower she presented him with a baby boy.
Soon after, the King married a new young queen who bore him a son, this being the reason as to why he ordered the construction of the single pillared pagoda, representing a lotus flower, to show his gratitude.

Back to the hotel we were proposed a one hour cycle rickshaw ride around the city. It was rather frightening at times because of the amount of motorcycles and even vehicles but it provided us with an idea of what the city was like as well as some of the interesting places we might be interested to visit in our free afternoon.
I found it difficult to photograph some of the daily scenarios I came across in what definitely looked like a busy city because it implied I had to quicky press the button whilst holding onto my precarious balance, as the rickshaw "rider" swerved here and there as in accordance with the fast moving traffic coming from everywhere.

View from my bedroom at the First Eden Hotel

We had a surprisingly special dinner at a small local restaurant out of the city centre in which we were the only guests and where we had the priviledge of having a  young lady play for us a traditional instrument, a sixteen stringed zyther followed by a bamboo xylophone throughout the whole meal. I was so enthusiastic at registering the musical accords that I ended up not photographing her.

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