Wow. I’m in Vietnam…
after a year of talking about this country – I’m finally here. Despite being up for 24 hrs the night before, I couldn’t sleep last night. I was restless. I had the “im-too-excited-to-sleep-cause-i’m-going-to-disneyland” feeling. I get this feeling every time I’m in a new country. I love it.
I got in late last night. The Hanoi airport is about a 45 min ride to the Old Quarter (downtown); For 30,000 Dong ($1.50), you can take the airport bus to get there. The bus was packed, so I scurried down the aisle (which i’m sure my backpack smacked a few people in the process) and found a seat at the back. Since my Chinese friends and I pulled an all-nighter the night before playing mahjong. I doozed off during the bus ride. I was awoken by the bus driver who was kind enough to shout for me when it was time for me to get off. I got to the Old Quarter around 11ish and it was surprisingly bumpin’, being that it was only a Wednesday. With no map in hand, and a crappy guide book that only gave me so much info on Hanoi. I expected to get lost, which of course happened. typical. After some walking, a bowl of pho (rice-noodle) and two steam buns later – I finally found a decent hostel and called it a night.
Unfortunately, I only have two weeks to take in as much as I can…so my tentative plan is to spend a few days here in Hanoi, see Halong Bay, and then catch the train up to Sapa to spend a few days hiking in the mtns. Then comes the hard part of deciding where to spend my last few days – Central Vietnam or southern Vietnam…man, i wish i had more time..