Hanoi

Trip Start Nov 02, 2011
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Trip End Ongoing


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Sunday, December 9, 2012

I was really proud of myself making it into Hanoi as planned in time for celebrating my birthday, it was a good plan.  I spent a couple of days here getting washing etc done before booking my trip out Halong Bay then I returned here for around another week.  

Because it’s nearly Christmas there are lots of decorations which are a far cry from last year in Nepal… I don’t think I saw any and certainly not on the way to Everest Base Camp!  So I take advantage looking round shops and admiring the decorations the displays and lights everywhere, it really does have a festive feel to it.

Hanoi is far more relaxing than I was expecting, the lake provides rest bite from the noise and traffic round about, and has beautiful views.  I do the tourist bit visiting the museums etc. however my highlight was visiting Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum… the atmosphere was one of complete respect, the guards ensure no one is out of line and keep you right through the whole experience.  After visiting I went round his residence and gardens and was taken in by the simple life he leaded instead of opting for the grandeur he could have if he wanted, he lived simply in basic accommodation within the grounds of the grand palaces.

I enjoy Hanoi, wandering around, eating the street food and just taking it all in – I love all the street sellers, the crazy electric wiring which hangs everywhere and the general atmosphere.  I enjoy the nightlife with many new friends and the Bia Hanoi is good… Hanoi is full of tourists but it’s good being with westerners after the solitude that cycling brings.  The Halong Bay crew are in fine form, and I particularly enjoy one of the nights at the hostel with our free draught beer and spontaneous ‘sing-a-long’ in which Rodriguez provided the words of songs while playing them on you tube, it was a really good night and good fun.

So my next plan is to make it to Hue for Christmas so I’d better get a move on, I plan on heading down the Ho Chi Minh Trail (around 800km), here’s hoping I make it on time!   
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