Friday, March 11, 2011

Vietnam so far

Wow, the first leg of our trip is complete! 

We left Korea on March 7th and arrived in Vietnam later that night.  We're already on to our second city in Vietnam, and are happy to have some sunshine and warm weather today for the first time since the fall!  We spent three days in Hanoi (Northern Vietnam) where we saw the sights, the crazy scooter traffic, and a traditional water puppet show.  We've also been eating lots of yummy food, most notably the fresh fruit.  Women patrol the streets wearing large cone shaped bamboo hats, ready to sell and slice anything they can carry in their baskets.  There are fresh mangos, juicy pineapples, and exotic dragonfruit and custard apples.  Other choices include spicy noodles, papaya salad with lemongrass and peanuts, and lots of cheap beer!  It's less than a quarter in some places.  

The weather in Hanoi was colder than we expected, and our room was crappier, but what do you want for $10 a night?  The city itself was nice, centered around a lake and with lots of French influenes.  We enjoyed baguettes for breakfast, with deliciously rich Vietnamese coffee sweetened with thick condensed milk.
A day trip from Hanoi took us to Ha Long Bay, an immaculate scene with islands of cliffs jutting out in every direction.  We cruised around to enjoy the gorgeous sights and Ryan took me for a kayak ride. 

Yesterday we arrived in Hoi An, a quaint and much smaller riverside town.  Very nice.  We like it here a lot better.  It's much more peaceful and pretty, but there a lot more tourists.  The city is famous for all its tailors, where hundreds have set up shop in the small city.  They will replicate or create anything for a great price.  Shoes, bags, and any clothing you can think of.  The turnaround time is almost nothing.

We spent our day touring the river area, enjoying banana pancakes for breakfast, and walking the maze of Hoi An's streets.  Tomorrow we'll head to a nearby beach, then get on a night bus to Nha Trang, our next stop in Vietnam.  I'm not sure how often we'll be checking in, but I'll try to update in chunks as we go.  You'll have to wait for the pictures until we get home, but it will be worth it!

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