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Published: September 14th 2007
after a very easy entry into the country, vietnam became very complicated. wanting to get straight to hanoiu, but realised quickly people just wanted to rip us off here & so we had to wait to try & catch local bus later. ended up stuck in the tiny little border town of Na meo...really not much here at all!
got a ride as far as the next town Dang Tham, where a wonderful family took us in & made tea while we waited for the bus. ended up having to stay the night, but it was fine, quite a nice little stopover & introduction to vietnam.
got bus at 5.30am in morning to Tham Nhua City then another to Hanoi. strange surroundings compared to laos, but nice to be able to at least attempt to read signs due to same letters that i can attempt to pronounce.
hanoi - crazy busy!!! sooooooo different compared to laos, & having real culture shock. no longer chilled out, quiet town, no traffic, but crazy roads, motorbikes & cars all over, never stopping, impossible to cross...literally the way to cross is just to go for it & let them swerve around you. madness!
loads going on in hanoi...really pretty city, probably one of my favourite out of the big ones...despite the madness, i wasnt too put off.
did the usual museum/ temple visit...now onto the effects of the vietnam war & american influence, etc. all pretty horrible stuff....noticing many people with horrid war injuries.
communism stuff evident everywhere..great statues, posters, really interesting!
managed one evening of salsa...although only 2 people able to dance, so i had to hog them!! wonderful to do some tho!
went to lenin park to watch the vietnamese do their morning exercise at 6am...thai chi, aerobics, football, badminton...all sorts! everyionne does it everyday then head off to work! alos found a bunch of people doing ballroom dancing...which of course i had to join in with!!! wonderful...best dancing fix in ages & the oldies loved us being there too!!! so much fun!!
lovely brides having weddings, randomly, at the local museum! but chasing them around the gardens to catch a photo was great! ....ive made an observation that all vietnamese girls are just gorgeous, damn them!!
Ho Chi Minh - really seen as a god/ saviour here, highl;y worshipp[ed. saw his conserved dead body at the mausoleum...eeerie...looks so alive still!
Lenin Park - beautiful park with lovely lake..people come here to do morning exercise from 6am...thai chi, aerobics, jogging...& ballroom dancing!
got in with the ballroom dancers, of course & had a wonderful early morning dance with some oldies. now that's what i calla good start to the morning!!...hot & sweaty from dancing by only 8am!!
gorgeous food...hot pot soup with tonnes of veggies & fresh fish! yum.
beer hoi...only 10pm!!
market...many random bits of meat things, organs & various body parts (pig's ear, etc...yuk)
most people wearin the famous conical (pointy straw) hats...really is a fashion thing & quite sensible too!
noticing women all covered up...literally with long gloves, scarves, face mask, long trousers...realised it's to keep the sun away...they really dont want to get tanned! amazing...we always want what we cant have.
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