Finally, I made it to Vietnam. Another country that had always had a bit of a mystical, legendary status for me, for whatever reason. It was good to be there, and I was excited to get exploring the rest of the country. I only spent about 4 days in Hanoi, but the time I did spend there was great.
I arrived from Luang Prabang, Laos on Vietnam Airlines, and met up with a few fellow travellers in the airport. The four of us made our way to the Hanoi Backpackers Hostel, which at the time seemed like a good option. In retrospect, I should have picked anywhere except for this place. Hanoi Backpackers is a relatively nice hostel, however, it’s aimed squarely at the early 20’s, just out of “uni” Aussie, Kiwi, and Brit drinking crowd. The place is filled with these kids, freshly escaped from school and their parents home, and excited to drink together and hang out. Given that I’m a bit older, and was traveling not solely to get drunk with my same group of friends, it wasn’t exactly my scene. But still, it was a relatively clean place, and when my room didn’t have drunken frat boys stumbling around in it, was a nice place to sleep. The one nice feature of this style of Hostel is that when I did want to have a night out to meet people at bars and clubs, there were more than enough options the front desk staff had to suggest.
Also in Hanoi, I had the very good fortune of meeting up with my friend Kyle, who is a fellow photographer. We had a few good rounds of the local brew, Bia Hoi, which costs about USD$0.20/glass, and is drank while sitting on flimsy plastic stools on the sidewalk.
Additionally, in Hanoi, I got to check out a traditional Water Puppet show – certainly interesting.