We have been in Vietnam for less than 24 hours now, and are extremely excited for the next eight days that we will spend here. We are in Hanoi for two nights, staying in the heart of the Old Quarter, which is a bustling, vibrant neighborhood that is absolutely packed with people and motorbikes. I’m amazed to report that the streets of Hanoi (at least in the city center) have even more frenetic traffic patterns than what we saw in Bangkok and Bali. The key seems to be slow and steady and just go for it — applying to motorbikes, cyclos, and pedestrians. I’ll try to get a video that illustrates the madness in real time.
Vietnamese food is probably my very favorite cuisine, so I have been eagerly anticipating our food experiences here and they have already been outstanding. I had my favorite rice noodle salad yesterday that came with barbeque pork patties — a Hanoi specialty — as well as a fantastic banana fritter with chocolate sauce for desert.
We also walked around Hoan Kiem Lake, which sits in the heart of Hanoi, and enjoyed watching all of the people walking, meditating, and peacefully sitting together at the lake’s edge. We agreed that most other parts of the world that we have seen on this trip have America beat in terms of knowing how to relax. We hope to take some of that home with us.
During our taxi ride from the airport into town, we saw a motorbike transporting a full pig carcass. It was draped over the main body of the bike. Although we have no photo (probably a good thing) that is our new top motorbike transport sight.