About a month ago, I was lucky enough to join my sister and mother on a vacation to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. After months of collecting vacation days, I was able to make the most out of the six days spent in a country so near, and yet so far (culturally and well, atmospherically), from our own.
It was a chance for me to revisit the city I traveled alone earlier this year, Ho Chi Minh, and discover another with two favorite ladies of the family. Ho Chi Minh was just as erratic yet comforting as my last trip, yet Hanoi provided another perspective. One thing’s for sure, I’d rather spend three days and two nights there compared to Ho Chi Minh. Vietnam’s capital is much more laid back, cleaner, and well, prettier. People seem more polite, and it’s less Manila/QC…more Alabang/southern provinces, atmosphere wise. Being a southern city girl, the laid back atmosphere will always win.
That, and the amazing food we got to try! The croissants in our hotel were top notch, and we could see so many bakeries as we walked the streets. French influence is much more pronounced in Hanoi compared to Saigon, so we were able to see some beautiful looking buildings along the way.
Hanoi is also the best place to start from if you’re planning to visit the mountains and waterways north of Vietnam. We were able to book a day trip to the Ha Long Bay, one of the world’s wonders. We got to ride a gypsy junk, enjoy fresh seafood for lunch, and kayak into large limestone coves. The experience was stellar, with the limestone formations reminding me that order and balance is still present in this world. How the design came together, the position of the limestones…I could only stand back in awe and thank God for making this world so beautiful.
Floating city along Ha Long Bay
Frog with citronella! Not sure if this makes you lamok-proof
I’m still happily hungover from this trip, and ever grateful I got to see more of this wonderfuld world. It’s quite a shame, though, that I only got to sit down NOW and write about my vacation. Work has otherwise been keeping me preoccupied, along with social engagements after, and George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones in between. I apologize to myself for not writing here more often. So much materials has happened yet the calling I have chosen is only seen in comissioned/paid for articles (two of which, will be out soon this week…yes, shameless plugging!). It’s good to get back to this blogging groove again. Let’s hope the days of being a MIA blogger are over.