|What a difference 700 miles makes. Roasting in Saigon and the high today in Hanoi was 46 degrees. Record cold in Hanoi and snow just 40km to the north. Arrived early afternoon and took a brief walk through the old district where our hotel is located. Then the 8 of us who continued on the North Vietnam extension took a "cyclo" ride, one person to a carriage. The cyclo is propelled by a bicycle behind the carriage. We got to experience the crazy Hanoi traffic up close and it can be terrifying.
After surviving the cyclo ride we went to a water puppet show, a unique Vietnam experience. Hard to describe but it's basically very intricate puppets on long sticks that are operated from behind a curtain. The sticks are below water and the puppets perform on the surface of the water. The show was very good and highly entertaining.
We took a brief tour through the French district with wide boulevards and picturesque colonial buildings. All the main streets have multi-colored lights over the roadway in preparation for the Tet celebration in February.