After pursuing excitement through unforgettable moments in Singapore, Tim headed to Ha Noi, Vietnam for some meetings. Luckily, in between meetings, he had a little bit of time to bump around town, sample some of the local cuisine and see the sights. He took some photos with the trusty iPhone, sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much, mostly of food and random streets scenes:
The above photo is the view from Tim's hotel balcony of the Ha Noi Opera House, one of the major pieces of French colonial architecture in Ha Noi. Tim's great view was courtesy of the Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel, which should not be confused with the Hanoi Hilton...
He saw the cars below outside the French colonial Metropole Hotel:
Tim and his coworkers went out to dinner and ordered the spring roll appetizer. What arrived at the table was not what they expected. A mango topped with a pineapple cut into the shape of a turkey with spring roll wings and a carrot head, surrounded by heaps of fresh herbs. Awesome.
While eating, they watched the waiter bring a live lobster to the table next to them and proceed to poke the lobster's underbelly with a stick, extract the lobster's blood and mix it in a glass with rice wine for the restaurant patron to drink. Apparently this is fairly common in Vietnam! We found this video of the live lobster blood extraction for your viewing pleasure.
Tim got the chance to go hawker food court and try some food traditionally from the central Vietnam town of Hue (which we'll be visiting later this month!), bun bo Hue (see above). It's a noodle soup made with pork knuckles, beef shank, oxtail, lemongrass, and sometimes congealed pig's blood (when we looked it up online and Tim saw that congealed pig's blood was an ingredient, he said "Oooooh, that's what that was!").
Unfortunately the above photo is pretty blurry (I promise to try to capture a better photo when we head back in a few weeks), but Tim said it's pretty common to see streetside barbers in Ha Noi.
Tim saw lots of sports being played streetside, too, mostly badminton and a badminton-esque game called đá cầu that involves kicking a shuttlecock over a net. Crazy. Apparently it's Vietnam's national sport.
Ok, more photos from Tim to come later!