Many Hanoians went to other cities or to the beach for their Independence Day and May Day Holidays. I not keen on that as wherever you choose to go on these national holidays is generally very crowded and really expensive. So instead,my ex-colleages and I went to Thang Long retreat in Gia Lam for a day. This retreat is such a peaceful place with small bungalows located around a lake from where you can fish. When we arrived, we had the place to ourselves but 2 hours later, the crowds we were trying to avoid showed up. Some were turned away because the place was full. I really appreciated the fact that my friends had booked and ordered from the menu a few days in advance.
I've tried fishing before but I wasn't patient enough to catch any fish. My friends didn't seem to be very interested either so we played cards and drank a few beers, and had a wander about to see if anyone else was having any luck with the fishing. It really didn't seem as if anyone was concerned about it.
Soon after noon our lunch arrived, many different dishes that my friends had pre-ordered, including grilled squid, chicken baked in mud and beef in vinegar.But the highlight of the meal was the 1.5kg deep fried snake head fish to roll with fresh vegetables. I felt bad as we couldn't finish this super fish dish even though we gave it our best shot.
Anyway, the important thing was the relaxing atmosphere on the national holiday. For 8 of us, we only paid 900,000Vnd which means $47 including beers and soft drinks. I am sure I will come back to this place for a future party. Thanks to my friends for a great day.