Important Preface: I wish we had more photos of Hanoi, but it turns out that surviving the streets of Hanoi required just about all of my concentration. Every street crossing seemed like a death-defying feat. But after a little getting used to dodging cars and motorbikes and getting dodged by lots more motorbikes, we became seasoned pros!
Here's a couple photos that give a hint of the busy streets filled with motorbikes and the sidewalks filled with people selling food.
The hotel concierge had suggested taking a car to visit the mausoleum and nearby West Lake, but Dylan and I decided that we were game to head out on foot...and we made it!
The mausoleum was closed, so we didn't get to go inside, but we got to check out the surrounding square and the house that Ho Chi Minh had lived in.
As we took pictures in the square, we watched an entire group of people trying to stand in the shade of a flagpole. The direct heat felt brutal...and it only got hotter later in the day!
Here's Dylan with Ho Chi Minh's house
Next to Ho Chi Minh's house was the one pillar pagoda.
Next, we adventured a little further to check out the West Lake and a bigger pagoda.
We happened upon a botanical gardens on the way. The $0.10 entrance fee was well worth the respite from the busy city streets. And we found more exercise equipment!
After making it to the West Lake, we found the pagoda!
Next on our agenda was checking out to Dong Xuan Market. Alas, I used all of my concentration on walking and surviving the heat and didn't get any photos. But I can report that you can buy a ton of stuff in Hanoi for really cheap! Sadly, no room for souvenirs in our bags.
I also failed to get photos of our lunch, but Dylan did get a picture of me trying egg coffee which is a Hanoi specialty. With help from our concierge, we found the original shop that started serving it in 1946! Our waiter wanted to talk with us to practice his English, and we learned from him that the shop served egg coffee at the recent Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi. So he is practically famous!
Our total step count for the day was 20,934...but we think we should get credit for way more considering the heat.