by in Out of India

Is it ringing?
Rue Hanoi
Graduates Hanoi
Vietnamese noodle soup
Nature Morte Hanoi
Hidden Temple Hanoi
night hanoi

We wanted to make a last small trip before the end of 2015 and we thought about Punjab first. Finally, flight ticket prices were more interesting to go to… Vietnam. So even if what’s happening above Delhi is still quite a mystery to us, the lure to discover a new country like Vietnam was stronger!

As we’re sligthly serious entrepreneurs, we decided to leave just for a big week so that our business doesn’t run too long without us. According to our friends who already went to Vietnam, the North seemed to be more authentic than the South so we focused on this part, landing in Hanoi with the plan to go in the mountains in the North and towards the famous Halong bay.

After a stop-over in Bangkok, marked by our horrible discovery of the Paris attacks happening right at the same time, we finally landed in Hanoi asleep and confused. Finally, the first taxi tried to cheat us with a price in dollars which had the effect to completely awake us. It also triggered our backpacker’s mood to put us in the right condition to start soaking up the Hanoi atmopshere. Quite early in the morning, Hanoi is a bustling city, with waves of two-wheelers released in its tiny streets and all its pavements invaded by street restaurants and their patrons, seated on mini-plastic stools eating up their breakfast made of noodles and soups. Compared to the distorted roads and the agressive traffic we’re used to in Bangalore, Hanoi appeared to us instantly like a small and nice city with just the right amount of restlessness to make it not boring.

Our first feeling was confirmed as we visited this human-scale capital, most of the time walking in its narrow streets where life seems to unfold in the public eye, on its pavements overloaded with scooters, small shops, kitchens, markets and restaurants of toys-like size which seem spontaneous but are finally happening everyday at the same place. And of course, all the street-food is scrumptious! Pho, Bun-bo, nems, and all the Vietnamese classics are there and tasting better than you ever had them. We also tried some new ones we never heard about before like the Cha Ca (cat-fish being cooked on your table) or this one street where we found out that only tripes were being served! So if you love street-food and are a bit adventurous, Hanoi is a paradise. French heritage can also be felt in the food but remixed with local flavours like the delicious Banh-mi (baguette sandwiches with Vietnamese ingredients) or the “Ca-Phe” (coffee) mixed with concentrated milk directly brewed in your cup.

Also, we find in Hanoi a kind of old Chinese heritage (or at least the nostalgic version we can think of) with for example many ladies wearing the typical chinese hat, many small Tao-Buddist temples (sometimes tucked at the end of a corridor!) and also in its markets full of life.

To be continued: Sa Pa, the mountains in the North…

by in Bangalore

Last week-end it was the famous festival NH7 weekender in Bangalore. It now exists for 5 years and it was the third edition in Bangalore but strangely it was our first time there (the previous times we were not in the city and the line-up was not that exciting with our limited knowledge of the Indian music bands).
Well it was a mistake to wait for that long to come as we finally found out that it’s a geat music festival! It was very pleasant to find ourselves again in this “festival atmosphere” we liked in France. The line-up was attracting with good international artists (we’ve seen Rodrigo and Gabriela, wonderful and impressive mexican guitarists or Marc Ronson, not exactly our kind of music but he was very good at liven things up) and local artists (unfortunately we only arrived at the end of the show from Dr. L. Subramaniam which seemed incredible).

Otherwise we’re still wondering where wander all these indian hipsters we met at the festival usually as we don’t meet them that often in Bangalore!
The organization was also very good. It’s great to see that these kind of events are now more and more common in India where the cultural life is not that lively for now (specially in Bangalore).

Below are some pictures taken with the new ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser that we had the opportunity to test for this blog. It’s not easy to make pictures in these conditions but still, it managed fairly well. And overall we’re pretty happy with this phonel. Display quality is perfect and the battery is impressive (it lasts more than 2 days for now !) Voilà voilà :)

mosaic-NH7-asus-zenfone

Chinese Net
Manoeuvre délicate
Paysage Kéralais
Barque dans les backwaters
Monsieur sur caisse

After several weekends in a row spent in Bangalore, we needed some calm and serenity.
So we decided to leave for Cherai Beach, at the 3 Elephants, a perfect “eco-resort” created and managed by a French couple, located next to the backwaters.

Cherai Beach has an interesting geographical situation. Close to Kochi, on Vypin island, Cherai beach is a kind of peninsula, no more than 100 meters wide in some parts with one side on the seafront and on the other one on the backwaters. Honestly, the ocean side sin’t the most beautiful beach we’ve ever seen in India (even if it’s always enjoyable to jump in the waves). On the backwaters side though, it’s a true oasis of calm. From here we can gaze at fishermen using the famous chinese nets which looks very clean and “real” compared to those we can see in Kochi… (they fish with a lamp at night, some shrimps and little fishes). You can take little boat to cross a river, walk on path not larger than a few meters surrounded by rivers… On a boat you can also discover the life going on in that unique atmosphere, and, going a little bit further, you can even see a small harbour populated by cartoonist big coloured fishboats.

We even tooke the opportunity to go for a day in Kochi, where it’s always nice to wander in its historical tiny streets.

Easily accessible from the Kochi Airport, this revitalizing place is a perfect getawy from busy Bangalore… we’ll certainly be back !

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