Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Vietnam- I finally made it!

We arrived in Vietnam yesterday morning and I struggled to take it onboard initially. I am not a morning person and rising at 4am and screaming at break neck speed to the airport in Bangkok, did not start the day on a positive note for me. Snoozing on the plane and landing drowsy and confused added to the surreal feeling of being in another world. While we waited in anticipation for the airport pickup we had ordered for the first time ever, we managed to get cashed up and connected via Vinaphone. The person holding a sign with our names on it never eventuated but a driver with our request on his phone screen did, so off we headed into fog, haze, dust or smog- not sure which but visibility was low. The usual WOW factor reaction I always feel when arriving somewhere completely new never happened but as the scenery transformed from airport construction to open fields of ripening rice, corn and dense market garden style vegetable cultivation to absurdly chaotic CBD traffic I realized I had just landed somewhere I have wanted to visit for more than a decade!!

Check in at the hotel was painless and the room small but clean and well appointed. Once we hit the streets we quickly developed a strategy for survival as pedestrians and became accustomed to the plethora of motorbikes, scooters and cyclos playing dare devil with the cars. The old quarter of Hanoi is exciting to explore. This is a noisy, bustling, humming, buzzing hive of industry, commerce, entrepreneurship and social activity. Old meets new on the footpaths and in the alleys. 

Life is lived in the streets and half the vendors are mobile carrying their wares on bicycles, trays or about their bodies. 

Bamboo is being split and turned into beautiful functional items right next door to tiny stores selling the latest electronic devices and technology. Exquisite coffee aromas blend with the wafts of garlic, ginger, Chinese medicinal herbs and garbage. Hang on to your hats, watch your step and dive in!

We can already see a huge adventure has begun and can hardy wait for the next 29 days to unfold. 

1 comment:

  1. Enjoy! The food is amazing! You'll love all the fresh greens that are served with meals. Look forward to next installment :)