Image credit: Robert
In Indochina, the soul dissolves in nature. Hypnotized by the soothing Hoan Kiem Lake city, the beauty of the Ngo Dong River bank, and the lively puppets dancing on the water.
Hanoi, City of Thousand Lakes. Does not mean there is even a thousand lakes in the French colonial city built on the marsh wetlands and lakes. Several large lakes which became an oasis in the Hanoi traffic is complicated. There Thien Quang Lake, True Bach, Dong Da, Tay (West Lake), and of course Hoan Kiem, the target of the tourists.
Last May, northern Vietnam into the summer. The sun has burned the city. “Some of these days, the temperature can be up to 42 degrees Celsius,” said Hezekiah, Vietnamese citizens living in Hanoi. On the banks of Hoan Kiem Lake Park, people linger, his back to the hubbub of the city. The views were “swimming” in the middle trace of red bridge lake and Turtle Tower is spread mystical aura.
That said, in the 15th century, Emperor Le Thai To was awarded a sword of a less-turtles living in the lake to help repel the invaders of his country. One day, while sailing on the lake, a large turtle appeared again. Soon the king drew his sword and pointed it at the creature. Turtle immediately caught the sword with its mouth and dive into the depth of the water. Finally, the king realized the sword was a god loans to repel the enemy, but now Vietnam is free, the sword must be returned. King Le Thai and named the lake Ho Hoan Kiem or “Returned Sword Lake ‘. “According to legend, the turtle was then still inhabit and live in the lake,” said Hezekiah.
Indeed, the lake was part of the Red River and a deep swamp. Most of the Hanoi area was once a lake with “islands” in the middle small, swamps and wetlands. Until then French drain the area in the 19th century. Once the handbook is written in my streets, Hanoi and Northern Vietnam Insight Discovery Channel output.
France which began to dominate northern Vietnam in 1883 was obsessed with the French-Indochina form (now Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos) to Hanoi as its capital. Wetlands, swamps, and lakes with insanely dried by street boulevards and European-style buildings are still set foot in Hanoi.
Evening sun slowly consumed. Increasingly crowded banks of the lake, like a piece of stage lives of Hanoi. There is a pair of lovers contemplating her reflection in the water, the people running or exercising at the gym lifting weights simple open lakeside, dazed tourists enjoying the beauty, and the old merchants peddle fruit in a winnowing tray.
“In Hanoi, there is rarely a beggar. They work, though only trade a pot of food. Young and old, “said Hezekiah.
That still leaves the rest of the afternoon heat and humid walk was filled with a look part of the Old Quarter is near the lake.
Old Quarter is present since the 13th century and is now inhabited from thousands of merchants. Narrow houses a three-story extends upward to a small courtyard, part of the view of Old Quarter. In the old days, taxing landlords to shop based on land area of the base. Not surprisingly, the building became so narrow. Partly influenced French style buildings with balconies overlooking the street.
Water puppet in Hanoi
Image credit: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
In the Old Quarter, Vietnam handicraft range can be found ranging from lacquer, paintings of embroidery threads, silk scarves, to key chains. And, when tired legs jumping from one store to another, pause at the coffee shop or stall pho (noodles) on street corners so tempting. Vietnam coffee aroma and flavor is soft, drugging tongue and inject energy.
Interestingly, the cafes in the street does not provide benches and tables are normal, but small chairs like stools, perhaps because of the narrow space. Knee must be willing to familiar tangent when the cafe was crowded. Coffee-coffee culture is not separated from the influence of French culture.
When tracing niches towns around the lake that I see the water puppet theater and decided to go into it. Water puppet art evolved in the Red River delta and rice farmers practiced for centuries.
The so-called “stage” in the theater room is swimming with the curtains around him. A traditional Vietnamese orchestra with instruments drums, wooden bells, cymbals, horns, harps, gongs and bamboo flutes accompany the show.
Then, came the wooden dolls out of the water. The scene opens with dragon puppets dancing on the water and agile suddenly spouted. That afternoon, the story is played out in the form of a fragment of the Vietnamese culture. With songs, puppets, and performances, newcomer like me can get a glimpse of an idea about Vietnam ranging from paddy culture, dance, and spiritual. Each time the story changed, figure doll that appears different from the water.
Puppet of wood like puppet show was apparently driven by a hidden bamboo under water by the mastermind behind the curtain. At the end of the show, the puppeteers emerged from behind the curtain with their dolls, immersed in the water waist.
Natural northern Vietnam, mostly in the form of mountains, lakes, river deltas, swamps, and river networks apparently make its culture was not separated from the water, until the puppet was soaking in water.
“Hypnosis” Tam Coc Hanoi
Image credit: LigerCommon
Another day, in Tam Coc, then I am truly a “drift” of water flow. Tam Coc around 45 minutes from downtown Hanoi with four-wheel drive. The river was packed into a tourist attraction. Foot boat rowed by women from the surrounding villages, bringing tourists enjoy the beauty of the old rock formations. Colorful umbrella developed to protect the skin from the heat as the mushrooms on the surface of the water.
The sound of a paddle boat, scattered through the “mountain” on the surface of the limestone area of wet rice fields flooded Ngo Dong River. Geological formations similar to Halong Bay, Tam Coc making can be considered as Halong Bay on land. The boat carrying tourists snaking order to enjoy the sensation of a giant limestone near. Body felt so small next to “the mountains” giant limestone.
Tam Coc means three caves themselves. And, sure enough. Two boats carrying tourists and one boater was swiftly through the darkness a narrow cave passage with stalagmites and stalactites.
Once escaped from the “hallway” dark, bright sunlight that struck the river ripples, green rice farmers on the banks of rivers and limestone mountains as presented freedom and life. Bringing the soul with nature.