Sunday, March 11, 2007

Museum of Fine Arts, Hanoi, Mar. 11

Our first stop, after fine French pastries, coffee and juice, was this touted museum about 4 miles from the hotel. Housed in a large, yellow stucco building forming a courtyard, we started at the top (4th level) and worked our way down. The art is not particularly memorable, as most paintings and sculpture are quite politically-correct with prominent soldiers and red flags with a gold star, but the atmostphere is engaging, and there are a few unusual kinds of art we liked, such as lacquer paintings. For lunch we ate in the cafe at one end of the quad, a stunning set menu with spring rolls, soup, rice, spicy vegetable salad, sauteed green vegetable with garlic, chicken with mushrooms, sweet and sour fish, and bottled water - all for less than $15.00 for both of us.

BTW, the Vietnamese Dong is more than 15,000/US dollar. We routinely pay for things with 50,000 dong bills (just over $3).

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