Vietnam belongs to the group of countries that was not in my travel list but I ended up there because so many travelers tell great stories about it so I had to go check.
This time I had the hard decision of one entire month in Vietnam or 15 days in Vietnam and 15 days in Cambodia... I picked the first option since I didn't want to rush in my solo backpacking trip, I wanted to travel slow and emerge in the culture. Also, Vietnam is not big but is really long and I only travel by land inside the countries so I had no option :) Now a days I understand why I didn't go to Cambodia (on my travel list since ever): to go with my best friend Ana, we will probably spend our birthdays in a cambodian island next year.
Let's go back to Hanoi. I made this insane 38 hours bus ride from Luang Prabang (Laos) to Hanoi (Vietnam), it was tough I won't lie but I had the chance to contact many locals and some backpackers from Australia, Holland, Belgium and surpriseeee Taiwan! After spending so many hours together we had to spend our stay in Hanoi together.
See, when I say that you travel solo but never alone? This is a great example.
I didn't want to spend more than 3 days in Hanoi, again, not a city person, but this city is something. I can say is ugly and not really organized but has her beauty in the daily life, motorbikes everywhere, locals selling near everything you can think of in the streets (my fave is fried banana), the tiny small chairs in the streets where we could go for a beer or 2... Did you know there is free wifi everywhere you go in Hanoi? Any street, any park.
I actually spent 3 or 4 more days in Hanoi after going to Sapa. I wanted to spend New Year's Eve in a fun place and found out CouchSurfers where organizing something big in Hanoi. No doubts, my first New Year's Eve in a different country was memorable, I remember to get home with sun rising already :)
Hanoi is full of History, if you are interested there are museums about Wars and General History of Vietnam. For the first time I understood what vietnamese passed thru, they had 40 years of War and always won. They are strong warriors! But you can feel the trauma and dissappointment in their faces and behaviours... Not all vietnamese are like this but many times staff of hostels and travel agencies mistreated us, they just wanted our money, tried to rip us off million times and would speak in their language in front of us and laugh hard. That was pretty sad. Funny but in South of Vietnam I didn't feel like this once, seems they are more open to tourists and you actually feel welcome there.
Ok, less talk, more pictures!
Ferry, the dutch guy I was traveling in Hanoi (met in the bus from Laos to Vietnam) was super fun to hang out. He tried his best to look like a vietnamese street vendor, not bad :D
I always used a motorbike as a taxi, there were a lot of man doing that in their spare time for extra money. It was way cheaper and funnier!
This was a show we decided to go and although we didn't understand one word, we loved to listen to them singing and watch all kind of different musical instruments. This particular scene in the water was spectacular.
This is not it guys, I want to show you more about the beauty of Vietnam. I always recommend travelers to buy a motorbike and sell in the end, it's the best way to travel Vietnam, you can reach small villages and hidden spots you will never find in guide books.
Thursday I'm off to California but I left some scheduled posts for you just because I'm a really cool person ^_^ I will answer all your emails and comments as soon as I get internet there.
Have a wonderful week pals! xx