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Hanoi

03/Nov/2003 : I flew to Hanoi from Phnom Penh. Although it was my second time to visit Vietnam, it was first to Hanoi. What my surprised was the traffic situation; during to drive to down town taxi driver was keeping sound his horn as another. Cars, buses, motorbikes, cyclos, bicycles... there are many kind of vehicles run on same road with different speed. It seems more chaotic, air and noisy pollutiont town than Phnom Penh in Cambodia.

Traffic jam

Necessaries for women driver are hats, masks, sunglasses and long gloves



Currency

Banknotes

Exchange Rates as of November 2003 : 1US$‚Čí15,000 dong

The currency of Vietnam is dong. There are no coins and every banknotes has picture of Ho Chi Minh. You look 20,000dong and 5,000dong are very similar so be careful to use. Don't mistake them.



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Hoan Kiem Lake

The traffic condition is awful, but Hanoi is very beautiful city of lakes. Above all, located hart of Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake is popular not only tourists but also the citizens. Moreover this lake is famous for legend of "Restored Sword".

Hoan Kiem Lake

Ngoc Son Temple on an island in Hoan Kiem Lake

Legend said that in the first of 15th century Heaven gave a precious sword to Le Loi who rose against Ming. With the sword he drove Chinese out of Vietnam. After the war he returned the sword to familiar of divine the giant golden tortoise lived in the lake. Since then the lake has had a new name Ho Hoan Kiem (Lake of Restored Sword).



Over the past five centuries, people have still believed that the sacred sword was buried deep somewhere in the lake. And several tortoises have turned up with the witness.

Tortoise

Giant Tortoise
Tortoise drawed on the gate

Tortoise drawed on the gate

This specimen of tortoise of this lake was made in 1968, weighted in 250kg with a length 2.10m and width of 1.20m. You can see it in the Ngoc Son Temple.


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Water Puppet

Water Puppet is a folk entertainment created by rice farmers of northern Vietnam around the 10th century. The puppets were modeled on animals and village peoples of their daily lives. At the beginning performance hold on in ponds and rice fields. This theater, was build in 1956 by Ho Chi Minh for children, located near the eastern shore of Hoan Kiem Lake.

Water Puppet

Begining : 17:15, 18:30, 20:00 (in every evening)
The Sunday morning : 09:00

Ticket price : 40,000dong (First class), 20,000dong (Second class)



The performance stage is a 7mx8m square pool. When traditional music prelude finished stage turned dark and performance started. The program consists of short 17 stories of daily life and legends and dancing so on. There are catching frogs, rearing ducks and catching foxes, fishing, fairy dance and dragon dance with fire-works etc.

Legend of the Restored Sword

No.12 : Legend of the Restored Sword

This is the story of famous legend of the sword. King Le Loy after triumphing over invaders Ming gave the magic sword back to a giant tortoise. On a right there is a boat which the king on board and the golden tortoise on a center.



Puppete manipulators

Puppet manipulators receive warm applause


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