Well that was a whirl wind tour of Vietnam if I’ve ever seen one. 2000 kilometres from top to bottom, from Saigon to Hanoi done and dusted in 12 days.
I looked back at my first post in Vietnam…I was hesitant about my first tour but I’m glad I did it. How else can you experience a fast paced country then with ten other like minded travellers jumping from hotel to bus to train to restaurant to bar!
What I particularly liked about G Adventures is that its not a tour group, its more so everyone travelling together, everyone enjoying a night out together and everyone choosing what they want to do each day. There was no flag touting tour guide herding us from one boring tourist trap to another. It was “here is a list of cool places to see” go for it! I enjoyed quite a few days by myself doing my own thing but it was always nice to come back to the hotel and see familiar faces.
Hanoi took me by surprise…its a beautiful city surrounding a pretty lake. Walking the lake front with its large trees reminded me of Central Park in New York. The locals enjoy keeping fit by running by the lake or using the free gym equipment. The weather was a relief; only 28`C so no sweating in sight.
The streets of Hanoi don’t line up and the houses are awkwardly stacked on each other. Crossing the road is like a game of cat and mouse, I felt the whisp of a motorbike once or twice and I think at the time if my feet had of been a centimetre longer I would have had 10 broken toes!
Today I met up with Lisa and we went to the Water Puppet Theatre. The puppets are made from wood and lacquer and are moved around the water by a supporting rod. The puppeteers are actually in the water too – about waist deep – but a hidden by a screen. Its extremely clever. It dates back to the 11th century.
The performance lasted about 50 minutes and basically went through and showed traditional Vietnamese culture in a series of short performances – there was one performance about fishing and another on growing rice. Its all spoken in Vietnamese so hard to understand but with the live band and singers playing traditional music it was well worth the $3US.
Hanoi was also the farewell dinner and as excepted we did party hard – dinner at a restaurant first then hopping to three bars. However I was very well behaved as I had a 7am flight to catch. I’m not sure how many of my travel buddies remember me saying goodbye! It was lovely though in the morning that Ratha, Jorgen and Evan woke from their hangovers to see me off.
So until next time Vietnam – good bye!