Day 15 – Hanoi last day

Usually the last day is the day for summing up, reflecting on the journey and such „David Copperfield kind of crap“ (quote, unquote…). All I can say (and I will say more when we meet) is: I have the best (travelling) companion you could possibly wish for. How blessed I am. And in general.

What an amazing journey this has been. May it continue.

 

Day 14 – Hanoi West Lake

 

To start the day we thought to pay „Uncle Ho“ a visit. Closed for the day.

The original idea was to rent bicycles from „The Hanoi Bicycle Collective“  cycle around the lake (17 km) but when we got to the part of the lake where their office was supposed to be we a) didn’t find the location and b) found the area not too appealing. The „let’s just walk a few meters and see what we’ll find“ turned into a really nice 20k stroll during which we saw everything: people swimming in the lake, men fishing, lots of rubbish and beautiful colonial villas.
Maybe I should mention that I found the one place in Hanoi where you can buy a decent cigar for less than an average person’s monthly salary…

Day 13 – Hanoi 3

This time a young aspiring student of German: this time we did more of the talking and our guide was extremely well informed and had lots of questions. The issue of the refugees has certainly reached Vietnam as a relevant subject.

In the afternoon – not exactly a jolly – we visited the Hoa Lo prison, a.k.a the „Hanoi Hilton“… Dark chapters, of which every nation seems to have at least one.

 

Day 10 – Hanoi 2

„Free walking tours“ is an excellent initiative: students of English and German show you round the city and thus practice their Einglish – and also get the chance to ask the international tourists lots of questions. Luu, our guide, did not only direct us towards the best shoe shop, took us to he womens‘ museum, we also got egg coffee and and insight into students‘ life – 4 girls sharing a bed in their appartement…

Day 9- Hanoi 1

Maybe the last almost two weeks had prepared us, but after all the noise and energy of cities visited so far, Hanoi seemed strangely less excited than some other places. When we arrived, it was „family time“ around the lake – the roads had been blocked for cars and all the families were out in the streets for a sunday afternoon stroll…

 

 

 

Day 7: Hoi An to Hue, on motorbikes

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The wonderful Sally at Lantana Hotel had – once again – the right recommendation: she suggested going to Hue (135 km) by motorbike. The company she suggested (Hoi An motorbike tours) takes a certain pride in NOT following the main roads – and that they certainly did! Our trip took us through little villages, along and across rivers and even through some flooded rice fields… It was not only exciting but it was a really good insight into Vietnamese life away from the main tourist areas. As much as the big cities and tourist locations are already global when it comes to lifestyles etc. Vietnam still has many areas of simple and also poor life. We saw families living on small boats as well as people living in huts in the forest. But, as Vu, our guide, explained: most people in Vietnam see getting a good education as the key to a good life. Lots of young Vietnamese are very ambitious, or to quote Vu again: „You earn 7 dollars a day. If you want to earn 9 dollars you take on a second job!“