Katie and I made it to Hanoi this morning. The airport is about 45 min-1 hour outside of the city, so we got to see some farming areas. I am still overwhelmed with everything and still don't know what to think. It is all very interesting. Everyone is very "pushy" here (in both Saigon and Hanoi) and we have to tell them that we are not interested many times and they will still follow us a little ways. But it is nice to observe their culture. I did not know that the French had such a large influence in Vietnam. It is a little strange to hear fluent French being spoken by a Vietnamese person in the street. Hanoi is different from Saigon in that there are a lot more trees along the streets, so much so that some of the sidewalks are taken over by the roots. Katie keeps pointing out other differences and I guess I will understand more once we tour Saigon more. We are staying at a hotel in Hanoi tonight (US$ 17 for a clean room with 2 twin beds). Tomorrow morning we leave for a tour to Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island. It is about a 4 hour bus ride east of here. Pictures of it are gorgeous, so I hope that it lives up to that. We will stay 1 night on a boat and 1 night in a hotel before returning to Hanoi on Wednesday to catch our flight back to Saigon.
Posted by hilljo at Sunday, November 23, 2008