As you all know, we cycled over 600 kilometers from China to Vietnam in 12 days. Once we arrived in Hanoi, we gave up the bikes for backpacks and became normal tourists. Emily and I spent a week in Hanoi just eating and figuring out travel plans for the next 3 weeks, forcing ourselves to hold out on any sightseeing. Why the fuss? Because my sister, Ariel, was coming to visit and travel with us for 3 weeks and we wanted everything to be a first for all of us.
Originally, Emily and I thought we could find work to occupy our time and trade for free accommodation but this turned out much harder than we thought. For those planning to visit Hanoi or Vietnam, hotels, restaurants, bars and travel agencies are always looking for foreign staff to help behind the desk, behind the bar, or with promotions, but you usually need at least a 3 month commitment.
Anyway, there's not much to report on our first week in Hanoi as we didn't really do all that much except prepare for Ariel's visit. As we were researching different overnight trips to the surrounding scenic spots, we met lots of interesting people with interesting stories.
|The beautiful, colorful fresh Vietnamese street food that we gorged on|
|St. Paul's cathedral in heart of the old quarter|
|The sea of scooters|
|The architecture of Hanoi's urban jungle - with a bit of artistic flair thanks to our camera's "malfunction"|
|The guillotine with pictures of heads on the right|
|Life-size human models to show the conditions inside the women's cells|
|An anti-Nixon, pro-women fighters propaganda poster from the American war (as it is known in Vietnam)|