I thought I would show you some photos of my holiday in Vietnam.
I started off in Hanoi where my sister and brother in law had been living. Impressions- filthy, noisy, overcrowded and aggression++. There is the worst ‘rush hour’ that lasts ALL day! No one obeys road rules and pedestrian crossings are a waste of white paint. On the road the pecking order is 1)car (you have to be rich to own one). 2) Motorbike-there are thousands of them 3) bicycle 4) pedestrian. When you cross the road you just step out and slowly go hoping they will all swerve around you-it doesn’t take long to master the art!! The sad thing about Hanoi is that they have failed to preserve the amazing French architecture so all the gorgeous buildings are just crumbling. The only buildings really preserved are the embassies.
This is the ‘Preserved Old Quarter’ which is all shops on the bottom level and then they live above them. We were so lucky to go there on the National Holiday so it was lovely and quiet-usually these streets would be clogged with traffic.
We did however find the most decadent Chocolate Brownie-little jug of thick chocolate to pour over. Shared by the sisters I have to add!!
After Hanoi it was the overnight train north to Sapa which is close to the Chinese border. It is called the Switzerland of Vietnam and it does feel a bit that way. This is a view from the hotel window.
It is in Sapa where you see the minority tribes-these tribes fled China during the revolution but neither country really accepts them. They still live in villages, dress in traditional clothing and live the most meagre existence. I did a trek through the countryside that went through some of the villages. It is nothing for the women to walk 12 kms from their village into town to try and sell some of their work to tourists and at the end of the day walk back. On their feet is nothing more than a pair of slip on sandals
We spent alot of time chatting with this woman,and her friends, learning a lot about their life and their handwork.
This woman sat outside stitching all day and even as it got dark –still going. It’s no wonder they need glasses. The stitches are different depending what tribe they come from and it is like their history in stitches rather than the written word. I was fascinated watching the intricate work with no markings on the fabric whatsoever.
All the work on her clothing she has also done.
This is me with my lovely 68yr old ‘friend’. She was such a character and was always laughing and so happy but the minute the camera appeared she never smiled. We took quite a few photos of her and not one has her smiling. I used to go and chat to them most afternoons and of course bought some little pieces off them.
We could’ve stayed up there for alot longer but it was off to Hoi An, which sadly has just been hit by the typhoon. Luckily the rice was being harvested while we were there so hopefully they had it all in and safely stored.
Hoi An is on the coast and on old town. Time was spent either at the beach, riding bikes around the rice paddies or at the tailors! We really needed to go with an empty suitcase and have a total wardrobe made as it was so cheap.
The buildings again have not been that well preserved except in the main part of town where most of the tourists go.
Then it was off to Saigon for a couple of days-much more Westernised city than Hanoi and some amazing architecture. A nice place to finish our time in Vietnam.
Hope you have enjoyed the little tour of Vietnam.