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Arrived in Hanoi

It took me about 21 hours to get here – 15 hours to Taipei, a 3 hour layover, then another 3 hours into Hanoi. I was glad to get to my hotel room and grab a shower and a nap.

I’m staying near the train station. Around me are a maze of streets and alleys loaded with eateries – some of them portable streetfood joints, other places that serve beer and snacks, as well as loads of cafes where you can sit, enjoy a coffee or a smoothy and watch Old Quarter life unfold.

It’s been humid all day with 20c temps. Now, as I write this, having a beer on my little balcony, the humidity has turned to a light mist.

I’ve alredy overcome any fear of crossing the streets. If you want to get across, you do it with purpose. Motorbikes will swarm around you. It’s cars you have to worry about.

I sat at a cafe with little tables next to the motorbikes that use sidewalks for parking. It’s fascinating to watch the crazy mix of traffic, locals and tourists. The place is hopping.

I wandered over to Hoan Kiem lake and up to beer street. Crazy busy there. Bars and restaurants everywhere, tables nudging out into the narrow street. Employees waving menus do everything they can to get passersby to sit and eat and drink. I heard a few languages spoken as I walked through.

On my way back in the direction of my hotel, I stopped for a grilled chicken banh mi, for which I paid about a buck and a half.

I’m exhausted and soon I’ll turn in for a good might’s sleep.

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