My first impression of Vietnam? Motorscooters. Lots of them.
On this brief stay in Hanoi, there was time to visit the Temple of Literature, which at one time was a center for teaching. Most interesting here was learning the difference between temples and pagodas. In case you don’t know, a temple recognizes humans of significance, in this case Confucius who is regarded as a great teacher. A pagoda is where gods, especially Buddha, are worshipped. These are subtle but important differences.
A special treat was a water puppet show, truly a unique performance that requires flawless coordination. The puppeteers are hidden behind a curtain until the end of the show when they wade out to receive their acknowledgement. Talk about being all wet….
As much as I enjoyed my first glimpses of Vietnam, I must confess that my favorite part of the visit was staying at the Metropole Hotel. It is not only a historic location which has attracted many a famous guest, but it is beautifully appointed with thoughtful touches. Check out the bottle of water! I think I will have a swallow, call it a day and dream about tomorrow’s adventure. See you then!