Sunday, 9 October 2011

Hello Hanoi

After undertaking my long yet comfortable 29 hour journey from Luang Prabang to Hanoi, I arrived looking something like a zombie. The first thing that hit me about the city of Hanoi, was the buzz and vibrancy of the whole place. True it is the capital of Vietnam and yes it is hugely developed and population, however, there is still a charm that lingers throughout the small clustered streets. We spent our  first two nights in a basic hotel, to which we later found out was owned and ran by the government. So, after me having a slight run-in with the reception man over checking out, we feared slightly either being spied upon, ransacked or perhaps even kidnapped. Gladfully, the next day I awoken just fine and we then opted to stay in the Hanoi Backpackers. This place is brilliant, has an amazing atmosphere that fills the whole building and it is great to meet other travellers alike. I have spent the past four days wandering around the whole city, visiting museums...observing the propaganda films and all the history of Vietnam. It is rather interesting to observe how a communist country reinforces and develops infrastructures, everyday life passes by everybody pleasantly and the Vietnamese people appear quite proud of the place they are from. The people themselves are friendly and engage in learning me small abouts of Vietnamese words, well I am trying to learn anyways. This proves that they are patient and also great at delivering tasty cuisine. I have enjoyed so many dishes, noodles are the best here, super delicious, especially when washed down with a Hanoi beer!

The original plan was to travel to Halong Bay on Friday, however, as a rather big typhoon was heading our way, there was concerns over the weather conditions and safety, so our boat tour was cancelled. Evidently, opted to not travel upto Sapa to do some trekking, as my body was subconciously telling me to slowdown and rest a little. The weather still remains grey, gloomy and gleefully dim but hopefully should head to Halong Bay tomorrow, spending a night on the boat and another on an island in the bay. The vibes of the whole city is a very good one and I am now excited, rested and raring to go, furthering my journey throughout the 'Viet of Nam'. 

Helping out the locals...selling some fruit!

Enjoying my evening meal...lovely street food

Moped city...Hanoi

Drinking on the 'streets'

Exploring the sunshine (rare occasion)

Hair of the dog...we became resident dj's
Monument by the lake...peaceful Vietnam

About to be eaten by a 'bush dragon' in Hanoi

An art sculpture of American war planes at the Military Museum

Drawing of Ho Chi Minh

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