I’m really enjoying all the walking we’re doing here. I really felt the fact that we haven’t done much walking in the last fortnight, and being able to
stroll duck and weave down the streets here has been a welcome change, despite the fact that it’s monstrously humid, we’re getting more used to the heat and it isn’t quite as hot as southern Thailand.
We spent this morning planning our return to Bangkok. We’re heading for an overnight trip to Halong Bay tomorrow, followed by one night back here in Hanoi. Then an overnight train (quite excited about that!) to Hoi An and four days of tailoring adventures and markets there before another overnight train to Saigon. A flight from there the following day to Siem Reap, then back to Bangkok for my birthday before we fly out to Munich.
Lots to fit in! We’re missing out on Chiang Mai, it was just too difficult and too expensive to get to at the last minute. Next time! Right now I’m really looking forward to the trains, apparently they’re quite good here. We’ve got ‘soft’ beds (4 to a cabin) for the two trains south. The tickets were about $100 each in total, far less than flights would have been and we get to see much more of Vietnam. If you want to have a look at the trains then this truly excellent website has the goods, just scroll down. It’s an excellent resource for long distance train travel anywhere, actually. All written an researched by one guy in England. What a champ!
Luke and I haven’t really done much in the way of touristy sight-seeing so far here. We both really enjoy just walking around, taking photos, people-watching. We thought about going to see the mausoleum but… haven’t. I think I’d need a greater understanding of Vietnamese history to really appreciate what I was seeing and, I’m ashamed to say, I know virtually nothing about the place. It’s the people and the food that are the highlights for us.
This evening we went to see the water puppet theatre. I have to say, puppetry really isn’t my thing… which was aggravated by the fact that the rows of seats were about 20cms too close together for comfort. My knees became well acquainted with those of the French girl next to me and my back became quite sore. On the bright side, the show only went for 45 minutes, so not really enough time for DVT to set in.
No internet on the boat tomorrow, so we’ll be offline for a few days (sacre bleu!) so be prepared for a storm of photos and video in about 48 hours.