Wednesday, October 05, 2005

temporary departure from hanoi

our days in hanoi have been wonderful, but lazy! we have tried a couple times now to do the walking tour of the old city but there are so many nice shops along the way that one of us is bound to get distracted. this city is evil for that! it is so easy to spend money, buy things, souvenirs, good food... cheap watered-down beer... we have really been living the life, pretending not to be backpackers and eating at french bistro and places like the german embassy today. it will be hard to stop the luxery and get back to the real life of traveling on a budget. but i think that the issue is that i might be indulging myself this much in western culture as a way to try to get closer to home, to hold onto anything i can that can make me feel a little back at home, and it's too easy to do that and i think that i really shouldn't. i don't feel homesick really, but apparently my stomach does!

i've just realised tonight how nice it is to get to know a city well, to walk it's twisted streets without doubt and get back to your hotel from the other end of the city without much use of a map and without falling prey to the hundreds of cyclo and moto that keeps asking if they can give you a ride. of course, when you get to know a city, it's then that you must go...

tomorrow we are heading off on a 3 day, 2 night tour of halong bay. halong bay is a unesco protected area in costal northern vietnam that is just "ridiculously good looking", and i can't wait to go there and spend lazy days on the boat. right after we come back, we will board a night train to sapa in the north of thne country. i can't believe that i'll be 2km away from china! it's so tempting to go back there... so many good memories and great locals, especially in the south. i'm looking forward to that chinese influence in everything including the food, and am hoping to catch more great pictures of the wonderful locals. we'll be back in hanoi on the 11th for a couple more nights and right after we will head down to the south, and the beaches!!! i can't wait to just lie in the sun and swim in the blue sea!

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