Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Detour!

We left Hanoi one morning and flew to Hong Kong. I was not excited about having a 12 hour layover in Hong Kong waiting for the Vancouver flight but... what can a little bear do?

Wait a minute... we are not staying at the Hong Kong airport?? We are going for a taxi ride!

I wonder where we are going??

Whoa!!! Did you see that sign??

We are at Disneyland!!! Oh my goodness - I am such a lucky little bear!! All the times when I was left in a backpack... all is forgiven!

That's Mickey Mouse!! I wonder who else I might meet here.

Ohhh... a carousel of horses - so pretty! Can I go!! Mama says "no" because my legs are too short... sigh.

But she did let me go to It's a Small World!

We rode a boat through a display of animated figures singing "It's a Small World" in all sorts of languages. This was the North Pole display...

And there's Canada!! Do you see the Mountie?? 

Oh - I want to go here! This place is called Grizzly Gulch- maybe there are some bears here!

Ummm... those look like awfully big bear footprints... maybe I'll just keep a low profile!

There were shops where you could buy the Bear Necessities - ha-hah!

And even a geyser - like at Yellowstone!

Oh... and a roller coaster thingie!! It was called Runaway Mine Cars... that looks like fun!

I even got to go on it but we couldn't take any pictures - suffice to say I screamed as only a little bear can!

This is the Disney Castle!

And these are the Disney Crowds... there were tonnes of people here!

Even though it rained quite a bit... poured actually. Luckily I found another place where we could get out of the rain.

It's a Pooh ride!!

Pooh is my hero... he always finds the honey!

There's a ride here - in honey pots!

Oh boy... of course it was all fake honey but still... it was a beary good ride for a little bear. I hope I didn't leave too much drool behind!

Pooh Corner!!! Really! 

Wow... all sorts of Pooh things!

And a bee hive with honey pouring out!

More honey pots!

Oh... num-num-num!!!

I almost convinced Mama to get me a honey mug but nooo...

My hero!

That was a super great ride and a super great visit to Disneyland! As it got dark though, the rain came down heavier and heavier so we ended up going back early to the airport...

Where Mama ended up drooling over a hot chocolate!

Heh-heh... we were going to get a mug from here when we started the trip - but we ended up getting one from Vietnam! Mugs are heavy though... so no more mugs here... What a great day - and now it's onwards to Canada!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Good Bye Vietnam

Well... this is it... a few last days in Hanoi and the grand Asian adventure is over! I spent a week here and it rained quite a bit of the time sooo... not so many pictures of me outside!

Anyhow - I got to go and see Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum - this is where his body is on display. When I got there it was closed - it's only open from 8 am to 11 am and they close the doors at 10:15 am... Oh well...

I also went and saw the Museum of Ethnology which is super cool! It has an indoor part where there are displays on the 52 (or so) ethnic minorities of Vietnam. There was also an outdoor part where you could go into typical houses from across Vietnam. This one is a long house...

The weaving from some of these tribes is beary beautiful!

Oh and in case I forget to mention it later - the traffic in Hanoi is crazy!! Just like in Saigon except with more cars...

Near our hotel is Hoan Kiem Lake - which means Lake of the Restored Sword. It has a pathway around it which is nice to walk.

There are two islands in the lake - one is connected to the shore by a red bridge. There is a pagoda on the island which has...

The preserved body of a massive turtle! There is still a massive live turtle in the lake - but I didn't see it. The water is kind of pea-green. If you see the turtle in the lake it's supposed to be a sign of good luck!

The other island is just a tiny one and has a little tower on it... it's called Tortoise Island.

That's the tower over there...

If you didn't know where I was - you might even think this was in France! This is St. Joseph's Cathedral... it was locked up pretty tight when I was there...

And another stop was the remains of Hoa Lo Prison. It was built by the French in 1896 and they used it as a prison for political prisoners until 1954. During the war with the Americans, many American pilots were held here and they called it the Hanoi Hilton.

Which is sort of a premonition because most of the former prison grounds now have a big hotel on them. There are only a couple of buildings left from the old prison.

Here we have the Temple of Literature - Hanoi's first university...

Students back then, centuries ago, still used a Chinese-looking script. Nowadays, there are hardly any people who can read that anymore.

It was beary pretty here and I think the students must have been distracted by all the water and the flowers!

Recognize these?? There were some in Hue too which also had a Temple of Literature. The names of successful graduates were engraved on the plaques which sit on the back of huge turtles.

One of the buildings even had a huge turtle too... gold-plated. Not sure if this one is a relative of the one in the lake or not...

Well... that's it... tomorrow it's back onto a plane to fly to Hong Kong and then on to Canada. I am looking forward to some real Canadian honey! And a change of clothes! Honestly... who only packs one set of clothes for an active little bear???? Hope you enjoyed traveling with me... next stop... Vancouver!