Well folks you are in for a short one so dont get your feet up and comfy just yet, I'm afraid there is'nt an awful lot to say about Hanoi. The biggest thing I think we will both remember is how wet and muddy we have been over the past 3 days, boy oh boy is it wet and with the wet you get the mud that seems to appear from no where obvious other than the roads and pavements, we have spent the past 3 days with mud splashed up the backs of our legs and wearing the same soggy damp clothes....nice hey!
Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam and is way up north so this is there winter season, lots of grey and a constant misty drizzle, the kind of rain that never gets worse or any better and that seems to soak you through in minutes, although as I'm writing this on our last day the rain has stopped and the mud has soaked back into the floor, for now.
The city is really busy and is made up of lots of small intertwining roads that are constantly busy with cars and bikes, you literally dont know where to look when your walking around, there are so many bikes coming at you its rather distracting from all the other interesting things to look at. Trying to cross the road anywhere is asia is pretty petrifying and here is no different, you literally have to walk out into moving traffic and hope they will slow down and swerve around you, and trust me we have had our fare share of near misses but if you stood and waited for the traffic to ease you would be waiting a very long time.
There are quite a few museums and culteral things you can fill your day with in Hanoi but you can also spend your whole days just walking the zillions of streets and taking it all in, which is what we have done for the past 3 days. There is always so much to look at, whether its trying to guess what meat is hanging in a shop window or watching the locals do business on the street, you definatly can't get bored wandering these streets. There are very few restaurants here but there are tonnes of make shift cafes all along the streets, people set up shop on pavement corners or infront of other shops, they have lots of mini stooles that would'nt look out of place in a nursery and the locals will crouch down and purch on these tiny chairs sipping on green tea whilst putting the worlds to right. Another thing we have noticed about asian people is they always seem to have so much to say to each other, I mean I know I can talk and talk for talkings sake but these guys take talking to a whole new level, I would just love to know what they are talking about, probably the weird looking smelly travellers that are looking at them with intreague no doubt!
each street here seems to be deticated to something in particular, we have renamed them, we have button street, Mum you would be in your element, shop after shop of millions of buttons of all shapes, sizes and colours, toitletries street, who knew 1 city could need so many deodorant shops and all on one road! we have butcher street and all its many funky meats, we met one man who had displayed his chickens as if they were moving and put flowers in their mouths, he explained that because it was womans day he wanted to make some 'love chickens' as he called them and then there is hardware ally, a mans dream street, other than those of the red varietyof course! But the locals dont really shop in the way we do, they just pull up on ther bikes with the engine still runing and just shout out what they want, dont think we could get away with that down at morrisons!
We decided to fill one of our days with two shows, in the afternoon we went to a water puppet show which was really good, its a traditional art form that was used centuries ago to entertain the farmers in the wet rice paddies and now the company that put on the shows travel around the world. All the vocals were obviously in Vietnamese but that didnt matter we could still tell what was happening, and the band that played the traditional music were brilliant. In the evening we went to the circus! it was awsome, it was the kind of circus you dream about but would never see in England, dancing bears and performing elephants would never happen at home! but as much as I'm ashamed to say it was actually really good and all the animals looked well cared for, we hope anyway! Only in Asia would you see a dancing bear doing walking handstands and an elephant balancing on one leg whilst twirling around on a stool carrying two woman on its trunk.....like I said I am slightly ashamed to say this but I enjoyed it. There may have also been another Sophie drama when the chair I was sitting on decided to break having me tumble down on my bum, something that seems was extreeeemly amusing for both Damo and all the locals who couldnt stop laughing at me, it only happens to me! just another bruise to add to the collection.
Well its the night before we fly to Thialand and we are EXCITED!!!! WOOOOOOHOOOO although not entirley thrilled with the actual day ahead, we leave for the airport at 6am for our 9am flight to Bangkok, from the airport we will get a taxi straight to the bus station where we will get our night time sleeper bus ticket for that night and then will no doubt find an empty patch of floor, set up camp and watch as many movies as we need until our night bus....not fun at all!!!!
It is always a sad moment when you leave a country, its the end of another great trip and some unforgetable experiences but we still have two more countries to go and explore so its also a very exciting time. Currently packing the fleece and leggings back at the bottom of my bag, happy times :)
Next update will be from Thialand and will no doubt make you sick with jealousy....hehe, OOOH and back to the land of Chang beer!! or loopy juice/elephant pee pee as its also known :)