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Love, Trust, and a little bit of Wanderlust If we don't try we will never know, in the end we only regret the chances we didn't take.

A Hub of Terrifying Traffic.

VIETNAM | Wednesday, 19 April 2017 | Views [393]

Hanoi is a crazy hub of culture. There are streets of market stalls and vendors packed with locals, then roads over run by travellers. The buildings here are unusual compared to anywhere else. They are narrow but really tall. And when I say narrow, they are really, really skinny. Everything is crammed together. Even the bars and restaurants have narrow entrances and are really long inside. The smaller places are literally just shop fronts with ridiculous little kitchens, people sit outside on plastic stools on the pavement with their drinks and food.
You can't walk on pavements either, they are unofficially reserved for scooter parking!! You can't get past them without walking on the road, where you take your life in your hands dodging the traffic that stops for no man! Insane.
We visited one of these little kitchens to eat some local food and it's impressive what they can create in such a tiny space. The food is incredible. We walked through a local market which completely bombards your senses, so many smells. It's also impossible to avoid the local 'delicacy' of a Banh Mi. These are basically baguettes crammed with whatever filling you think of. They are all over Vietnam. They fill them with salad, mayo, pate, spread cheese, and a choice of meat, depending where you get one they also use a mustard or type of spice mix/sauce too!

We headed for the Old City Gate, a little bit of history still left in the city, but you can't take time to enjoy it as the traffic is mental and you would end up being ploughed down by a scooter carrying a family of 5!!! Sounds insane but it's true, we witnessed many scooters with 3 fully grown adults on, and many more with 2 adults and 3 children.... all on one!
We moved on to the lake known as the Lake of the Restored Sword. Named after the legend of an Emperor's encounter with a Golden Turtle God, and the reclaiming of a magical sword. It's beautiful to see, and at night it has light features with a red bridge crossing to its centre. But the traffic around it is about 8 lanes deep (the road only has markings for 4 lanes) these drivers just do what they want 😂.

We have a list of places we want to visit and first on the list is Ha Long Bay. We have heard incredible things about this place. The popular option for many people is to book a tour rather than booking things individually yourself. The accommodation we looked at was pricey, you needed a boat to get you around there, with transport to and from the harbours ect. We found a travel agent to book a trip with a decided it would be nice to not have to worry about accommodation and transport for a few days. A 3 day 2 night package, 1 night sleeping on the junk boat and 1 night in a hotel on Cat Ba Island. It sounds amazing apart from the fact I get horrendous sea sickness.... but we have to go! So I began preparing myself for the trip, and we dug out the motion sickness tablets for good measure.... This could be a very interesting trip! 

Tags: adventures, chaos, hanoi, happy, roads, scooters, seas, traffic, travel, trips

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