Sunday, April 13, 2008

Gems on Van Mieu

En route to the Temple of Literature today we came across two little gems on Pho Van Mieu which are well worth a visit if youŕe heading this way.

First @ number 43 was Craft Link, a not-for-profit organisation that sells ethnic weaving and craft at fair trade prices, and apparently also funds community development activities for the artists. The collection wasn´t huge but the quality good and prices very reasonable, and it was such a relief to browse freely without avid sellers breathing down our necks. My treasured purchase was a gorgeous red silk Khmer weaving ($20).

Just a few doors down @ 59 we stopped for lunch and a fantastic cappuccino at KOTO (Know One, Teach One), a vocational training hospitality school for disadvantaged kids here in Hanoi. There are clearly strong links to the program from Oz and it appears that its a potential destination for Australian Volunteers Abroad. Theyŕe clearly doing really well, now making a profit and expanding to other countries. Food, service, setting and prices were all superb! Our VET system in Australia could learn a thing or two....

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