I first visited Vietnam in 06/07, and decided then that Hanoi was my favourite spot. It’s hard to say whether this was the city itself, or that I was in bed with food poisoning for most of HCMC and all of Hoi An and Hue. Particularly as everyone looks at me like I’m cray cray when I profess my love for the capital of the North. But I’m happy to report that, after a reassessment – Hanoi remains my one and only.
It might just be the Melbourne of Asia. Gloomy weather, coffee, lane ways and a pho joint on every corner. We’re yet to mummify a national leader for public display, but there’s still time.
I mostly stuck to the maze of the Old Town, getting lost in alleyways overgrown with strangler figs and vines, with bright paint peeling from humidity and pollution. Escaping the constant drizzle in coffee houses, juice shops and little pho restaurants, and an array of cheap and mostly hilarious day spas. And doing my best to honour my pre-trip commitment to “not buy all the stuff.” Given I had to pick up another bag, I eventually admitted defeat on this one.
More in the next post.