Week 2: Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi Travel Blog

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I am now in Hanoi, Vietnam and the stickiest I think I've been so far on this trip. This city is actually my favorite so far of the major cities we've visited--just Bangkok and Chiang Mai in Thailand until now but more to come. The architecture is amazing--you can definitely tell it was colonized at some point by the French--and the amount of motorbikes plowing through the streets is pretty astounding. All you hear are motorists zooming by, honking their way through in order to alert pedestrians jumping in and out of the streets. Actually, I think it's more true that the tourists are the ones jumping in and out of the streets since we haven't yet mastered the art of averting danger and getting our feet chopped off. I'm actually surprised that I haven't lost a limb yet.

The sweat dripping down my back is starting to get to me, so I'm going to have to go up to our hotel room right now to shower, but here's the whirlwind update of what we've done so far:

Bangkok--The Grand Palace was an ornately massive structure. The Thais really like using gold in their decor. I will eventually have pictures posted to explain what I can't verbalize right now. The shopping was amazing and super fun.

Chiang Mai--I think the most memorable part of our trip here will be the night we ALL got food poisoning after eating at a semi-upscale restaurant. I went home early with diarrhea, which I didn't think was all that serious, while my friends continued through the night bazaar. After the 5th bout of diarrhea, I thought I was done, but then I hurled up almost all my food at about 2 in the morning. I then learned that Emma and Shannon also got sick in the middle of the night and so we were pretty much shot for our last day in Chiang Mai.

Other than that, the highlight of our stay in Chiang Mai was venturing out into the mountains/countryside since Chiang Mai is really just another city, not the densely wooded forest I imagined it to be. We went on an elephant ride, a bamboo raft ride (I did the stearing in the rear), and then cooled off in a waterfall.

I should not forget to mention the monk chat we had in which we confused the heck out of the monks just trying to have a friendly conversation with foreigners.

Tomorrow we leave for Halong Bay. Sun! Water! Very excited.



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photo by: mario26