Thursday, May 08, 2008

Haler Bangkok!

I'm finally back home in Bangkok. I swear I couldn't be more relieved that all the constant moving for the past couple of weeks is over. Finally I can settle in my bedroom, and my toiletries are happily ensconced in their old places in my bathroom after getting a good beating in my backpack.

But then let me wrap up a few things from my Vietnam trip, which I should say is one of the most memorable experiences I've had so far.


Traveling alone was the best part of it all. I wouldn't have done it any other way. I enjoyed my freedom of mobility, of doing whatever I want to do whenever I want to. I had a better time appreciating the sites coz I could move at my own quick pace. I took advantage of my solitary moments to contemplate about the experiences that swamped me incessantly. I met people along the way, mostly tourists, travel agents, and guides, as well as locals. But honestly, I don't care so much for them and I found my self avoiding any prolonged interaction with them. I simply wanted to spend time with my self; and doing just that, the past two weeks were cathartic in so many ways.

Of course the disadvantage of traveling alone is that nobody would take my pictures. Thank god for the kind strangers who were willing to be bothered by my vanity and snap me a photo here and there.


I had roughly seven nights in Hanoi coz it was my base for hopping from one spot to another. I couldn't express more how I fell in love with the city, especially the Old Quarter where I spent most of my time. Mainly, I love Hanoi's cool weather. Also, the narrow and crowded streets that were shaded by tall trees just grew on me. I love getting lost in them and finding a stunning old building at the end of the alley. After a few near-death experiences in its streets (charing!), I eventually felt pretty comfortable fighting my way among the suicidal drivers of motorbikes, bicycles, tourist shuttles, and cars. I had countless of hours sitting in street-side cafes, watching people, and smoking. I also spent a good amount of time around Hoan Kiem Lake, which is a refuge from the chaos of the city.

Needless to say, Hanoi is my favorite part of the trip. Of course, I shouldn't be comparing the spots I visited coz they have their individual charms. Ha Long Bay is jaw-dropping; Sapa is special because of its weather; Hue is just grand; and Hoi An is charming. But nothing is more endearing to me than Hanoi.

For some of the travel pictures, check them out here in Multiply... Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Perfume Pagoda, Sapa, Hue, and Hoi An.


Oh, while I was complaining about the bland food in Vietnam, I actually found a good dish in the most unlikely place. I was biking around the citadel of Hue and of course too much cardio made me hungry, right? Since I could not be maarte anymore, I stopped in this street-side food stall that sold fried spring rolls and roasted pork. I had one serving of both, which goes with some vegetable salad and some dips. I swear, I had an orgasm right on my first bite. I have no idea what they're called. I only found them in Hue and nowhere else in Vietnam (I did not search hard enough).

It goes without saying of course that I went crazy over those Vietnamese drip coffee with sweetened milk. Damn, I can live on those!


But then, I'm not done with Vietnam yet! I'm still going to Saigon slash Ho Chi Minh City less than a couple of weeks from now. I actually still have a few Vietnamese doung so I have a few bucks to spend when I'm back in the land of Uncle Ho.


So where's my next stop? I'm going to say hello to Sushmita Sen! Namaste!


chase / chubz said...

i imagined that the streets would be dirty. Pero ang ganda2x ng city.
i love the architectural structures. so asian.. i like it.

bisita ako jan someday.

JSVAN44 said...

Great commentary and photos from your trip to Vietnam.
I was there last Nov/Dec and really enjoyed it.

kawadjan said...

chase: true. nagulat din ako na relatively clean naman pala ang hanoi. parang sana ganon din sa pinas. :-) rampa na here. now na.

jsvan: thanks for leaving a commnent. vietnam is something, isn't it?

erin said...

hi! i've been lurking in your blog for about a year now. thanks for sharing your travels on Vietnam. I was wondering if it's safe for a girl like me to travel solo in Vietnam?
Thank you!

kawadjan said...

hi erin! thanks a lot for following my ramblings and inanities.

i did see a number of women traveling solo. quite a few though. i would say it is relatively safe. just take the usual precautions that you would do when traveling (e.g. not walking alone late in the evening, etc.).

the vietnamese are relatively aggressive as well, so it would be advisable to put your guard up a bit.

have a nice time!

feel free to email me should you have other questions and i'd share with you whatever i learned from my vietnam trip.

what's your blog url anyway?


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