Yesterday we were pedestrians dodging motorbikes and cars on crowded Hanoi streets, and today we set out to see the city by bike. We are a diverse group of six people – 4 men and 2 women. Two Brits (one originally from New Zealand), one Canadian (by way of Denmark), and one Australian in addition to Barry and me. Our leader, Nguyen Son (Son), lives in Hanoi when he’s not shepherding tourists around his country.
Before starting our bike 20 km bike trek around Ho Tay (West Lake), we met the bike mechanic who will travel with us and were fitted for our touring bikes. They ride well and are much lighter than what we are accustomed to. This should make our longer rides a bit easier.
Our early morning and late afternoon involved touring on foot. Our group visited Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum and the surrounding grounds, standing in line with with thousands of others to walk quietly by his preserved body lying perpetually in state.
And in the late afternoon we walked around the city with one of our tour mates, eventually making our way to Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton), where American prisoners were held captive during the war.