HANOI, VIETNAM

HANOI, VIETNAM – Last-minute Trip.

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VIETNAM AFTER REAL ESTATE SUMMIT
So after getting done with my big Real Estate Summit in Oakland on 8/27 & 8/28, it was time to take a break. Either head to Burning Man – or visit Jen in Hanoi. This is a combo business trip (writing my business plan, having logo created, turning my real estate stuff into a true business) – and having some fun! Thanks to everyone who came out to the Summit! It kicked ass! I love real estate because I get to meet awesome people, and travel to beautiful places like this while growing my business ๐Ÿ™‚

The restaurant aboveย had about 20 different stalls of delicious Vietnamese street food to choose from. Since many tiny stalls on the street typically focus on and only make 1 dish, it’s a fantastic way to try everything ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Beautiful view with lanterns and the street from the balcony of the second floor where we were eating.

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There are a bunch of motorbike “taxis” and even Uberbikes to get around. This guy was driving like a madman while on his cell phone. But made it through! I figured, if this guy could get through without dying, so could I! (maybe ๐Ÿ˜‰

img_0121OLD SCHOOL
Many women roam the street hawking fresh fruits & vegetables, dried meats, toys, etc. Bicycles and scooters are the workhorse of choice.

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TRAVEL LIKE A LOCAL
After hopping on the back ofย a stranger’s scooter when I first arrived in Hanoi, I knew I’d have to go rent one. There are petrol stations on the major loop around the city, and an attendant pumps for you and resets for each person. Probably a lot like many decades ago in the US. While most items are relatively inexpensive in Vietnam, I believe the gas was about $20K dong (VND) per liter.

With the exchange rate of $1USD = ~$22k VND, and almost 4 liters per gallon, it’s almost $4/gallon for gas. More than the US! (And probably one of the few things more expensive than the US).ย  When I was in Amsterdam, I rented a bike to get around. In Vietnam, “land of 5 billion scooters,” it’s the only way to get down the clogged streets and alleys without sweating your ass off walking all day..ย  Traffic and 4-way intersections are a madhouse/free for all!!img_0249*WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE KEM!*
Guess what is just as delicious on a warm, muggy evening in Hanoi? Kem! aka Ice Cream ๐Ÿ™‚ย  We rode the newly rented scooter around the lake, and took a quick ice cream break at these decorative dragon boats on the lake. Bats were flying everywhere!img_0176YUMMY
Rice noodles, basil (my fav!), egg, pork dumplings, tomato, lime, & fish sauce. More food to come! This is from the restaurant above..

img_0179WASTE NOT, WANT NOT
Nothing goes unused or to waste in Vietnam. Street peddlers go around fixing and patching up old sandals. And when they get too worn or broken to wear on your feet, they may just become the brakes on your next bicycle!

img_0097MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL
Jen and I spinning around at the night market.ย An autumn festival is coming up, and they’re selling brightly colored noisy toys all over. Hard to tell, but there are tons of bubbles in the background also! ๐Ÿ™‚

img_0190HOAN KIEM LAKE
This is the walkway up to the Temple of the Jade Mountain, which has a bridge going out to a small island in the middle of Hoan Kiem lake, in central Hanoi. We stayed not far from here, and is a beautiful spot – reminds me of beautiful Lake Merritt in Oakland! ๐Ÿ™‚

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OLD YELLER
Some foods are different in Vietnam. Some foods are VERY different in Vietnam. Don’t tell Old Yeller what they’re up to out here!! :-/ *I have not had any dog.. not sure if I can bring myself to it :-/

img_0129MASSAGE OF COURSE!
Of course had to get a massage! Before I get a billion emails, no – this was just a REGULAR massage lol I plan on coming back to get a 2-4 person massage at once! Treat yo self! ๐Ÿ˜‰

img_0199WHERE BIZ IS DONE
90% of business in Hanoi seems to be done on the streets or sidewalks. Your food is chopped/cleaned/slaughtered/purchased/eaten right on the sidewalk or street you walk down every day. Whether it be some local fruits, and entire pig, or a dog. Scooters are fixed on the street. Many women still wear the traditional Vietnamese hats you have seen in movies for years in the rice paddies. Some things here are a blast from the past. Old bicycles. Carrying heavy loads with a home-fashioned wooden yolk & baskets. I wonder if you would know the difference if you were dropped in this same market 50 years ago…?

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Welding, grinding – no matter what work you’re doing, it all goes down on the street and sidewalks..

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