Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Vietnam - first impressions

Having spent the last day in the hectic motor scooter filled world
that is Hanoi, I'm amazed at every corner that this world functions.
Through the chaos and the frantic pace, however everything seems to
have its own rythem and somehow the scooters don't hit the
pedestrians, and aren't hit by the cars.

I will at some point post a copy of the itinerary, so I won't rehash
the sights we've seen, but rather just share some observation:

• there is a distinctly French feel to the place, only further
intensified by the large number of french tourists. The hotel almost
reminded me of New Orleans a bit.

• while not nearly as friendly as the people in Japan, the locals
generally tollerate tourists. There also seem to be a lot more of us
here.

• travelling with a "fixer" (guide who handles just about everything)
is one of the greatest things I've done. As there aren't many open
arms (see above) this makes everything a touch smoother and easier.

• hiking today, I have never sweat so much. Because of the high
humidity things also just don't dry. My shirt and shorts, which are
about as wet as if I'd gone swimming in them, are still a damp mess.

We're now on the night train to Sapa for a couple more days of hiking
and exploring. I'm looking forward to being out of the city, as
crossingthe street should not be a life threatening experience.

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