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Published: February 27th 2008
G in flower market
This was the coolest day ever!
Feb.03/08 Hanoi>Viet Tri
Got away from Hanoi heading towards Noi Bai airport on hwy 3 around west lake and past the dog meat restaurant strip. Leaving town we passed through literally at least a 6km strip that had vendors selling small pink peach blossom trees for Tet(Vietnamese version of Chinese New Year-celebrated at the same time and their equivalent to our X-mas) as well as small mandarin trees. The traffic was quite thick and we had to be careful as people were shoppinng as they were driving along and would stop suddenly when they saw a potential purchase! We crossed the big bridge over the Red river with the traffic despite seeing a no bike sign as we really didn't seem to see an alternate route(like a separate bike and moped bridge when we entered Hanoi. We just made sure to pedal quickly and not make eye contact with the guy in the booth! Mid-way across we noticed a separate bike lane below us-whoops! We had no idea how to get onto it as we hadn't noticed anything on the way up to the bridge. Anyway, anyone cycling it may want to try to find it
Flower Market Town
We were really glad that we decided to take this road!
in case they get a more dedicated bridge booth guy! We used a combination of the lonely planet Hanoi map and our Rough guide 1:1,200,000 and between them expected to find hwy 2/23 to Phuc Yen but instead kept following the airport signs and came to a traffic signal after a few km that showed a left to Phuc Yen. This was a nice paved road through several villages including one that had a spectacular flower market. It was SO cool! Before getting into town we passed between fields and fields of roses with each bud individually covered in paper! On th way into town there were vendors selling the roses as well as other flowers and we got caught up in a little traffic jam which suited us just fine as it provided some great photo ops! We walked our bikes through the actual market in town and really enjoyed ourselves! Once again, to say that we were a bit of a curiosity would be an understatement! We carried on eventually and hit Phuc Yen. Bikers take note: our map and compass would have led us to believe that we should turn left at the four way intersection upon
arrival in Phuc Yen but left is actually the way to Viet Tri(the road snakes around and eventually heads north). The road was extremely rough for a few km but seemed like it was being worked on so will surely improve. Anyway, we made it to Viet Tri. No problem finding a Nha Nghi(hotel) as most big towns seem to have several. Walked around after dark looking for some grub and stopped to buy some oranges from steet vendor. Somehow when digging in her changepurse G managed to drop her bike odometre down the sewer! It was quite a funny scene trying to dig it out using a stick provided by the lady and my headlamp but we eventually got it and wrapped it in tissue for future disinfection!! Later on we chatted up a mother and her two daughters selling fruit and hung out with them until they closed up(around 11pm!!) and helped them clean up and stow everything away at a nearby spot. The older daughter Dieu is a university student and wants to teach english so she spoke it very well. They were very nice and we took some pics which we promised to send on. Overall,
We stopped to talk to these girls...they loved the photos!
a stellar day!
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