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October 2017
  -    -  October

Hoi An The airports a pleasure. VietJet, organised and to schedule. Our hotel in Hoi An, a bit like a boarding house room, with a fabulous outdoor courtyard under the colourful lanterns that are synonymous with Hoi An.  We opted to stay at the hotel restaurant for a selection from their speciality menu. Everywhere has their own version of spring-rolls. These had ginger, garlic and

Ha Long Bay Four hours bus ride hurtling through towns and villages, with construction going on everywhere. 'Tube' houses with an architectural style that seemingly borrows from French colonial, festooned with the capitals, gilding, arches, and spires of Buddhist temples.  This UNESCO World Heritage site is amazing. Ignore the mass commercial exploitation with a gazillion boats all headed for the same spot, and the schedule

'Cards', and the companion painting, 'Another hand' Acrylic on linen 40cmx50cm  Hanoi, Vietnam.  From Terry's photo, ladies playing cards next to Westlake.  Frenetic, expressive smearing of paint onto the linen canvas. Craziness after a heart-beat walking through the traffic?  Raw Sienna, and Alizarin Crimson for the face, with a darker mixture of Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Red. Naples Yellow for the background. Quinacridone Rose and Cobalt Blue for

Hanoi Pho, at the upmarket Huyen on Cau Long Street, clean with regular size tables and chairs. Chicken amongst the noodles (which I skipped) and broth. Tastes of lemon-grass, garlic, ginger and lime hidden within the depths of crystal clear broth, delicate enough to make a French Chef envious. Translucent onion moving between the noodle strands like exotic sea creatures. A tad squeaky and weary

Hanoi Too early for the market to be functioning, which was my planned breakfast stop as Terry was heading out for her Street Food tour, while I messed about with paint. That my stomach has decided at this point to rebel, a coincidence. Hopefully the eggs from market shopping don't have chicks in them! We whizzed through the list that Terry had with the various

Maison de Tet, the micro batch craft coffee delicious. In a renovated villa along West Lake, we could have been in any upmarket restaurant on the planet. A good selection of jazz with our brunch. A walk out along West Lake, dodging garbage, building sites, bicycles, scooters and joggers. While this is not a pedestrian friendly city for the most part, the traffic is

Hanoi A tad vacant from messed up body-clock. Rocket fuel coffee start Demanding, rapid strokes of my fingers before the acrylic dries. Conscious I am of the criticism leveled at artists who depict Vietnam as the 'cutesy' worker in a conical hat and the village with rice fields. For my painting of the modern Hanoi, scooters, attitude, cell phones. On 50cmx40cm, 335gram linen from Amsterdam,

Hanoi Manzi, an artist-lead art space, cafe and gallery located amongst a leafy garden in an old villa near the apartment. The main exhibition by a young Vietnamese artist was a tad scary, with a diverse gallery wall upstairs. With night falling, we enjoyed the cozy atmosphere away from the frenetic streets. Alice, a disconnect. Women's day in Vietnam. Flower sellers brilliant spots of colour,

Hanoi The train arrived on schedule at 03h30, leaving us 4 hours before we could drop our bags. Lemon tea, a car park disco. Small taxis with impressive hooters and sound systems. Polite taxi driver, whose meter seemed to be of the 'non-rip-off variety'. Defined as: a meter that turns faster than your heart beats!, brought us to the AirB&B at 60 Nguyen Truong To,