The morning a group of parents, who are new to Hanoi, set off on a tour of the Old Quarter with Ms Fitzpatrick and Ms Mi. After a short presentation in the Parent Meeting Room, where the parents learnt some basic Vietnamese as well as some helpful hints about living Hanoi (number 1 on the list was how to cross the road safely!). We then set off on the school bus and headed into the Old Quarter taking in some famous sights en route, including Long Bien bridge, the longest Mosaic in the world and Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum.
Our first stop was Gia Trinh Bakery, famous for its traditional cakes.
Once inside everybody marvelled at the range of colours and flavours of the Banh Dan Toc (traditional cakes). Purchases were made and we then got back on the bus and drove to Hoan Kiem lake.
After a brief history lesson from Ms Mi (and managing to cross the road safely) everyone paused for a moment to take in the beautiful views of the lake.
We then set off to explore some of the 37 streets that make up the Old Quarter. There was so much to see and buy! In fact, a few members of our group even managed to practise their bargaining skills (under the watchful eye of Ms Mi) and bought traditional Ao Dai for their children in preparation for Moon Festival in October. Well done ladies!
All that shopping made us hungry so we stopped off for some freshly made Banh Cuon. The consensus was it tasted delicious and the empty bowls were testimony to that!
No trip to Hanoi would be complete without a Ca phe sua da (Vietnamese Ice Coffee) so we duly stopped off for a bit of a ‘pick me up’ before we headed back to school. This turned out to be a smart move because as soon as we sat down it began to rain heavily!
Eventually the rain stopped and we made our way back to the school bus and British International School, Hanoi, new friends were made, phone numbers were swapped and everyone agreed on what a great morning it had been.
Thank you to everyone who joined Ms Mi and I on the tour – we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
We hope to run a range of different events for parents so please look out for information on our website.
Kate Fitzpatrick, Assistant Head Primary