RTW: 2007-2008, Southeast Asia, Vietnam — By on September 26, 2008 3:00 AM

I never would have thought I would find a place with crazier traffic than Saigon. But then I arrived in Hanoi. HECTIC Hanoi that is!!! Hanoi is the loudest and most chaotic city I have visited so far in Vietnam and perhaps SE Asia although Bangkok was pretty crazy too . The roads are narrow and jam packed with motorbikes, cars, pedestrians, food carts….you name it and it is probably in the road! There are sidewalks, but no one can walk on them as they are blocked by food carts and parked motorbikes! As a result pedestrians are forced to walk in the narrow streets and dodge moto drivers. I have never seen so many motorbikes on the road at once!

Hanoi is a perpetual honk. Every second there is honking! If the honking doesn’t drive you crazy then the annoying yet persistent motorbike drivers will surely put you over the edge!

“Hello, Motorbike?”

It is not enough to say “No thank you” as then you will be asked “Where are you going?”

or my favorite …“Why Not?”

Depending on my mood, these moto drivers would elicit a range or responses from me from flat out ignoring their existence, to a “No thank you”, to “Because I said so” or in extreme irritation… “Do my legs look broken?”

Every time I left my hotel, I wondered if I would make it back alive!

Crossing the road in Hanoi…

Walking through the streets (because there are no sidewalks)…

By the time Danny and I had arrived in Hanoi, we were exhausted from our busy tour of Vietnam so far. Not to mention that Danny was feeling so ill that we decided he needed to see a doctor. To our surprise, he was diagnosed with the MUMPS!!! I couldn’t believe it and actually felt really bad as the whole time Danny had been complaining about swelling in his jaw I thought he was being paranoid. He said it hurt when he chewed so I guessed he needed his wisdom teeth out! My diagnosis was way off and we were both shocked to learn one could still get the mumps despite being immunized! Lucky for Danny he had only a mild case and he has since recovered just fine. The mumps is extremely contagious and my immune system must be very healthy as I never got it. We guess that Danny contracted the mumps from one of the children in the orphanage we visited in the Central Highlands.

We went to a water puppet show, it was SO cute! Water puppets is an art form that date back to the 10th century. The little wooden puppets were adorable and were made to dance by the guys behind the curtain as they are attached to long poles. There was live music and singing accompanying the performance which was very beautiful.

Video clip from the water puppet show.

After traveling together for two weeks (which flew by!), sadly Danny had to return to the real world in Sydney. I wished that he could have stayed longer and had a great time traveling with him. I went with him to the airport said our goodbyes and then said hello again to Nicole who had just arrived in Vietnam after spending a week in Hong Kong. We planned to travel to Sapa together before parting ways again.

I returned to the hotel with Nicole and we caught up on all that we had done the past two weeks. Nicole seemed to have quite a refreshing and relaxing week in Hong Kong, while I was completely exhausted from my travels with Danny and I fell asleep way before Nicole did. At about one in the morning Nicole woke me up and was whimpering quietly about a giant rat that was on the desk eating the complimentary fruit the hotel had left out for us! I was seriously so exhausted that I didn’t mind sharing the room with the rat if it meant I didn’t have to get up! But Nicole was more than ready to change rooms, so we called the front desk and they helped us move all our stuff to a rat free room. I can’t believe I had been sleeping in a room with a giant rat for three nights and didn’t even know it!

The next morning I was more than ready to leave Hanoi, it was doing my head in after just a few days!

To see photos of Hanoi CLICK HERE.

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous says:

    Baby it was the most romantic and fun filled holiday (vacation) that i have ever had!

    You are the perfect partner and it was like a dream being over there with you!

    I think back at all the things we saw and experienced and i was thrilled to have shared it with someone i love!

    I cant wait to see you again soon!

    Love Danny

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