After a couple of hours we were worn down by the heat and negotiations so sought out some refreshments. A nice local (deserted) cafe served us up a couple of passion fruit slushees that were to die for. Temporarily hydrated we carried on. Another hour of shopping and we were ready for solids so we nipped into a classy three storey cafe/boutique called 'Tanmy'.
Mixing retail/dining and atmosphere we sauntered through the three levels, K fingering their linen while I holed up on one of their stylish sofas and availed myself of their free wifi on my iphone. Deciding to eat there we sat at a modern little eating area and ordered a couple of *savs (blancs as opposed to eloys) and beef salads and reveled in the peaceful surroundings complete with fish pond and styly coffee machine.
*We tried in vain to order a couple of Alan Scott Pinot Gris but had to settle on a French Savignon instead! Good Kiwi wine obviously popular.
Happy to pay the decent price for the serenity we languished on the Country Road like sofas as long as we could then used their stylish ablutions before heading back out to the mayhem of the streets.
3/4 stretched and wilting in the mid afternoon sun we decided to have "an experience" and haggled a price on a cyclos for a round trip of the lake for $5USD. Lurching around at snails pace we jammed two up in the seat for 1 and a half people and sweated buckets as we sat and enjoyed the watery inertia. Re-energised and oriented we headed back to a bag shop K had spotted, as our parcels now outnumbered our luggage. The first stop proved too inflexible without much choice so we pressed on and settle for $40USD for me (haggled from 60) on a hard case suitcase and $25USD (orig 40) for K for a patterned soft one. Our purchases packed safely inside the new purchase we headed back to the hotel to regroup before heading back out to dinner.
Showered and repacked into the new bags we headed for the roof top city view in the square. Up the lift to the fifth floor we eagerly ordered up a couple of long island teas and prawn crackers off the boy with the modern digital order machine. We got two black Russians and a bag of prawn crackers on a saucer. After several attempts to rectify the drinks order we gave in and took a couple of cursory photos and departed quite underwhelmed by the whole set up.
The square had touristy non-Vietnamese food to offer so we ventured further from the hotel in search of a restaurant our guide had recommended.
After a couple of laps of the area we settled on a kerbside seat at a nearby restaurant serving locals and tourists alike. We went straight to the good looking set menu for a $4USD/head and a couple of Gin and tonics later we could call it a dinner. A quick Pho soup to start followed by a fried fish with special sauce and a chicken and lemongrass dish left us happy in the knowledge we had dined like the locals. Weary and worn but not out we returned to our conveniently located abode and settled for another big day tomorrow and being collected at 8.30am for Ha Long Bay.