It was the last day of the trip. We stayed 1 night at the Boss Hotel and would depart from Hanoi
the next dayâ€™s 2pm flight. We did not have any program that day until the guide picked us up for airport. As Iâ€™ve seen the street full of oil painting stores, I requested our guide to give us the address so that we could go back for some painting shopping on our free day. He offered to bring us there. We knew this was not his duty, we did not have any program with the tour that day, but he wouldnâ€™t mind to do the extra! He told us not all the cabs are safe, some of them are illegal. We were relief when he said he would get us a legal cab that used meter. First he wanted to show us a handicraft/ art store that painted or worked by the misfortunate people.
These people were born disable due to the chemical bomb used by the American during the Vietnam War. We were glad that their government took care of these people, provided training to them so that they can live on their own. We saw the embroidery art works, lacquer works, silk products by these misfortunate people. Even though we did not buy anything, but we donated some money to help these people. Then we went to the street we were talking about. We saw some of the paintings were make out of small stones. They called it the stoned art. It was very beautiful but not what I was looking for. We walked through a lot of stores, and Voila! Thatâ€™s was the oil painting I was looking for, for a long time - â€śLe Printempsâ€ť or the Spring by Pierre Auguste Cot! After this, our guide asked if we wanted to ride on a cyclo around the French Quarter.
(I had mention about the French Quarter on the first day we arrived and he remembered it!) Bravo to our guide - Mr. Sang!! We were lucky because French Quarter is right next to the Old Quarters where we stayed, therefore the cyclo driver could bring us back to the hotel. He booked a cyclo for us for 80000 Dong which was a pretty good deal! We managed to squeeze in this tiny cyclo and off we went around the French Quarters tour. We saw some nice old French style buildings along the way. There were a few times the motorcyclist gotten to close to us, it was about 1-2 inch of gaps! This scared the hell out of me! We had to make sure our hands and legs were inside the cyclo, or else it may be gone by the time you are done with the ride! The cyclo driver got honked at and yelled at one time because he was in somebodyâ€™s way.
He tried so hard to introduce us what were the buildings around with his Vietnamese, too bad we couldnâ€™t really understand him! It was such a pleasant ride because the weather was perfect! One other thing I learned from this trip is: If you want to ride on a cyclo, asks your tour guide to get one for you. Otherwise you will be ripped off - big time! (We had unpleasant experience with the cyclo driver in Saigon because we hailed it ourselves.) Mr. Sang met us back at the hotel, then he and the driver drove us to airport for our international flight.