Voulez-Vous une Baguette? - Hanoi, Vietnam
Hello and welcome back to my amazing blog (and i hope when you're done reading this blog, you will feel happier and as enthusiastic as i am.) I am going to begin with how we got across both the Chinese and Vietnamese boarders. We went by an overnight train so needed to wake up once at 12:00, bring up all of our luggage to the Visa check office, be identified and wait a bit, then returned back to the train. Another Visa check was at 2:00am and this time, no one spoke much, everyone had trouble keeping their eyes wide open and were all eager to dive back into our train beds...Only to wake up the next morning at 4:00...*sigh*
We took a taxi to our next BnB and there was a Caucasian lady taking a jog! What?! It wasn't early morning sleep that was fooling us because a couple blocks down another group light skinned men. Happens so that we were living down a whole backpacker street filled with tourists and travellers. It shocked me. Myka and i did a count and in all 6 weeks of traveling in China, only saw 64 non-asians. Not including museums, airports, touristic areas or events. The total in Hanoi only, (6 nights) was around 2 800 i lost track after the 2nd day and approximately rounded up. Yay math class!
In Hanoi we learned about the French colonization and the cruelty showed by les francais. We consumed a whole lot of Vietnamese subs (a.k.a. des baguettes) and deep-fried -but delicious- bananas. Sounds disgusting and they are wonderful. That is until we had more of them on a hot day and then they quickly became disgustingly sweet and sweaty. In China there was electric bikes everywhere. Silent little 'zooms' of noise. In Hanoi, there were a whole bunch of motorbikes and exhaust that filled the air. More like the rumbling of my stomach.
Was a bit of a change from China to Vietnam although prices were super super cheap. One of our hosts told us that the city bus would frankly be very difficult to take and would be around an hour of a wait. Not to mention, he said they were dirty and recommended a tourist bus. He doesn't really get that we tend to be in the more independent travel area. Man, he was wrong. The city buses were air-conditioned, new, very clean and only 10 cents for the 6 of us. And we also had a wonderful tour of the city.
Since Hanoi was colonized by the French, lots of French travelers and tourists visit. We happened to go to this one tribal museum i think it was called the Vietnam Ethnology Museum and like 90% of the visitors were french speaking. So without meaning to (or maybe i was meaning too) i eavesdropped on the conversations and they had no idea that the Asian girl next to them understood every word they were uttering! Some of the visitors were elementary school classes and they all spoke really fluent french. I would guess an international school because there were some Asian children and many of other skin tones. It was great.
We stayed in Hanoi a first time for 3 nights, then we left to explore the northern part of Vietnam and then returned to Hanoi for 3 hours before jumping on a cruise for 2 nights before returning to Hanoi for i think 3 nights.
In our other apartment room, we stayed a little way between the tourist area we were in but not too far so we could go places. One time we bought a whole bunch of jellies and syrups so that we could make our own drinks rather than buying them. I daresay this was probably one of my most consuming moments of the trip. I ate a lot. They say no regrets (and i think at one point i did too, but whatever, it don't matter) but i have regrets now. Being in soccer for so long i could be able to eat an entire bakery of pastries without gaining any. Smh, i can't say the same for now. But that's okay because the food in Hanoi wasn't so memorable for me as it is now haha.
That's all for Hanoi, wasn't my favourite place to visit in Vietnam but it was nice to learn some history. I think it would be better if we stayed away from more business and tourist areas. All the same, i finally got to visit the city where one of my best friend's (Joyelle) grew up and her sister, (Alysa, also Myka's best friend) was born! *exhales*
Au revoir Hanoi! Goodbye and happy new year? Its Februrary but that's fine :)
Time to wrap up this blog alright bye!