The rest of my day was spent mainly walking towards things but not managing to get to them until after they had closed or were fully booked. Doh! I was disappointed about the water puppet theatre which I would have loved to see. With all my money and banking issues, I somehow managed to miss exactly where it was. (When I realised it was just behind me, I understood how I’d missed it as there was a huge speaker blasting out dance music right next to it, which I had been steering well clear of for some time.) Anyway, the water puppet theatre is a traditional folk art thing and looks something like this, I gather:
I also missed out on the Ho Chi Minh complex and botanical gardens, though I did walk all the way there (just arrived too late), and also I gave up trying to get across the road to the Temple of Literature and surrounding gardens, the traffic was so terrible. Of all my near misses, that’s the one that I feel desolate about. Fancy not being able to enjoy one of the sights of a city because you literally cannot find a safe place to cross a road. I feel sad for Hanoi about that. And I am wondering how many road accidents there are here per year, and how many pedestrians are injured or even killed in them.
Starting them young 👇🏼🚗 🚙😢:
I just googled it. Apparently 14000 people (of a population of 95.5 million) die in road accidents in Vietnam per year, and it’s the leading cause of death for 15-29 year olds. In the UK in 2016, there were 1792 fatalities from road accidents (of a population of 66.5 million). I am not great at numbers, but I reckon that’s pretty telling.
Anyway some cheerier images to end with:
(Look at those wires! 👆🏼😳)
More communist pride 👆🏼
Here,👇🏼 you can just see a couple of families sitting down to eat on miniature plastic seats by the side of the road. At a certain time of the evening, many streets were lined with people cooking and eating outside, selling what they were cooking up in huge pans to customers, as well as eating it with friends and family. I wanted to get a better photo because it’s so distinctive, but it felt intrusive somehow, particularly after I saw a poster saying, “It’s a culture not a tourist attraction”.
Although I missed out on some things, I still had a great day, and I walked 9.7 miles (15.6km) if my phone is to be believed.
Tomorrow I’m up early as apparently a shuttle bus will come and pick me up from the hotel to take me to Nimh Binh, my next stopping point. How anything that could be described as a “bus” will be able to get anywhere near this hotel, I do not know. Well, I do, but I prefer not to think about it too much!
Time for sleep.