Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Northern Vietnam Wraps Up Our Southeast Asia Experience

We approach Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, from the south, seeking the lesser traveled routes.  Here our little road crosses a  river in the delta by ferry. Motorbikes know this route too.

Langsat, mangoes, watermelons, dragonfruit...fruit has been abundant in our last three months of Southeast Asia.  We've read that it is quite expensive to buy fresh fruit in Japan so we are making sure to enjoy the fruit before we leave!

Although rain has been rare, we were soaked on our day biking into the old quarter of Hanoi.  Narrow streets were lined with innumerable little shops peddling North Face gear and Under Armour clothing.  Noodle shops were abundant and we decided to maximize the abundance of delicious, inexpensive rice, veggie, rice noodle and beef/pork dishes.

Looking down from our 3rd floor balcony we saw the woman in orange frying up tofu, then delivering it down our narrow street with one of these silver trays loaded with tofu, mint greens, rice noodles and sweet dipping sauce.  Upon investigation we got in on the treat too!  Rick went downstairs and returned with a tray for us.  25VMD (about 1USD) made for an amazingly delicious breakfast for two.  When Sampson, Markos and Tarn woke up we ordered the tray for 40 VMD and it included fried egg rolls, sliced beef and chunks of sausage, easily feeding the three boys breakfast for less than 2USD.  Needless to say, we are eating out every meal in these final days in Vietnam.

Hanoi is busy with motorbikes and color.

And the finale - a celebration of our journey through Southeast Asia - a 3 day tour of Ha Long Bay.  Our cruise included kayak excursions and close up viewing of the amazing karst landscape.  The crew was super fun.  This is an adventure not-to-be-missed for visitors to Vietnam!

Today marks success. We did it.  We made it.  Bangkok, Thailand to Hanoi, Vietnam.  Almost four months cycling though the countries of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam (southern), Laos, and Vietnam in the north.  Though grouped in the same area of the world.  We will remember the distinct differences of each.  The chaos on the roads of Cambodia and the silly pajama/slipper daily wear fashion.  The plastic garbage throughout.  The horrendous fake-swallow amplified chirping houses of southern Vietnam, the loud streets and traffic of Northern Vietnam. The Karaoke. The peacefulness and simplicity of Laos.  The climbs and cabbabe.  The kindness throughout. Southeast Asia had been an adventure.

We sit at the airport, ready to fly to Japan, our final "foreign" country to cycle (on this trip!)  No more guest houses...way to expensive.  We'll be camping.  Will we be eating out at all?  We'll figure it out.  We arrive in Fukuoka, Japan tomorrow at 10:00 am.  I'll be sure to let you know how it goes!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.