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Life around the Lake in the Old Quarter

Tae Kwon Do vs Yoga

68 °F


Just the other day Ana and I were walking around Hoan Lake in Hanoi. The pulse of the people around the lake reminds me of the vibe around the lakes in MN. Couples hand in hand, kids running around, wierdos here and there and of course a few muscle heads hanging about. In Hanoi working out appears to be best done in groups. Ana can attest to that:

Picture 003

Picture 003

These young ladies were working it together, giving one another a fine back tapping and light massage in unison and all to the beat of Vietnamese tunes from a boombox. Three cheers to Ana for getting in there and ceasing the moment.

After a few more paces northbound around the lake we encountered muscle beach. Anyone could walk by and grab a set of dumb bells and pump iron. It wasn't anything like the gym back home, but it was a bit inspiring watching every at it. Ana dropped everything and ran over to take a spin on "The Twister" (we'll call it). They had these in Japan, too. Veeerry popular with the older generations:

Picture 004

Picture 004

The excitement became contagious. Shortly there after I dropped my bag and walked over to the pull up bar for a few reps. Just as I was finishing my one and only set a little man approached me and we began to talk about life. Chu was a good guy, maybe 25 years old and from Hanoi. After a few minutes of chatting he showed me some Tae Kwan Do right there near the lake:

Picture 006

Picture 006

He was all for learning Yoga too:

He insisted on posing like this. I abided and got into my best and first Tae Kwan Do stance. In return for the lessons in Tae Kwan Do I taught him the Sun Salutation sequence in yoga. I regret to inform that all those photos are on Ana's camera. Hopefully I"ll get a few in this entry before too long.

Vietnam has been a very cool place to visit so far. Admittedly I had a lot of ice in my viens before coming here. Yet after nearly every encounter I have with a person from Vietnam the ice melts a bit more. I've met only friendly people eager to practice there English and discuss there culture; the food, language, traffic in Hanoi, any anything else that will keep you talking. They truley are eager to practice there English and learn more about where ever you happen to be from.

These kids approached Ana and I with out hesitation just before we left town:


That reminds me, I spent about 90 minutes the other day chatting with university students near the lake. They politely approached me and asked if they could sit next to me on the same bench. I oblidged and on we went talking about music, home, family, movies etc. I can't help but feel a little strange knowing we had such a huge impact on this country in the 60's and 70's, then coming face to face with the people (not the government necessarily) and being quite enamoured with them. All good people aside, the street vendors are relentless and pickpocketing is still a problem in Vietnam. However violent crime is rare, and all of our hotel/hostel managers have given us good advice on how to avoid problems of that nature.

All in all a great experience so far.

Be well and safe travels amigos!


Posted by Sr.curtissan 16:12 Archived in Vietnam Tagged hanoi_lake hoan_people

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So...you talked about Radio head I presume. My phone won't let me make it one word.

by Sam

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