Mar 10, 2002 09:51
Pros: breathtaking sceneries,
friendly and funny locals, amazing food
After all that partying, we wanted to do roughen things up again.
We took the night train to Hanoi, never again on the hard sleeper,
that was a proof of love for Rich and myself, but not a good's night
From Hanoi, we went on a trip to the Halong Bay and later to Ba
Be National Park.
Halong Bay is a UNESCO world heritage site and known for the steep
rocks scattered around the bay. We slept on board of a djunk in
the bay and went to an island the next day. There, we did a tough
trek through mud and mist, so mad, but really, really good.
In Ba Be, we were the only tourists. It was tough getting there
with jeep and boat and hiking in the pouring rain. We stayed with
a family in a stilt house, a really genuine experience although
I'm usually not that fond of making a zoo out of a home.
I loved Vietnam, such breathtaking sceneries and the people so friendly,
so funny. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of years of war,
these people are developing fast from a state of destruction to
a functioning market economy (never mind that they are ideologically
communist) closing up quickly behind their successful neighbours
Thailand or Malaysia. They even manage to maintain their ethnological
identity and culture.
After many weeks in less developed countries I couldn't get used
to old grannies selling cakes in the streets speaking English!
The food was amazing, too. Those raw spring rolls in Hoi An or the
Fried Tofu in Miss Minh's and not to forget the French pastries
in Dalat ... hm!
In the end, after a few last days in Hanoi's Old Quarter, another
few Happy Nights in its bars (actually, only ONE bar), my trip was
I refused a serious offer to be kidnapped and taken to China against
my will and said goodbye and see you again soon, very soon indeed.
So many tears, but at least half of them were from happyness.
End of Part One.
With special thanks to Remo, Patrick, Chris, Olivier, Avishay. I'll
always think of you when I'm listening to Mr Tambourine Man, Beautiful
Day, Good Morning Vietnam! Life is about Happy Days!