Backpacking in Asia #1: Hanoi!

Since I was 14, I wanted to go on a backpacking adventure. At the age of fourteen I was not mature enough for it. After graduating and working, I finally decided to take a moment to travel the world! The first four weeks I am exploring Vietnam with my mom, the other six weeks I am planning on visiting Thailand, Laos and maybe Singapore.

After having interesting food in the airplane that I think could last even longer than my sexy Teva flip flops I bought, we arrived in Hanoi. After hearing stories about how chaotic it was, I was surprised by how peaceful the airport was. But as we say in Holland, it was silence before the storm. ´´Okay, okay okay!!!´´ The not so friendly bus driver dropped us off in the middle of Hanoi while saying ´okay´ a hundred times, and then the chaos started. With our sleepy heads from not sleeping on the airplane and way too many clothes and camera stuff on our belly and back, we had to cross the road. Which means in Hanoi: just going and hoping you get not ran over by one of the 5 million motorbikes. We crossed the road lots of times in the 3 days we were in Hanoi, and experienced funny moments. Parents who were taking their kids from school and just left there motorbikes on the middle of the road, drivers who peacefully went for a lunch when leaving their bus on the road.

But of course, Hanoi is more than chaos. It´s a city with impressive architecture, museums, food, parks and people. For example, we visited a museum about women, eat lots of street food and drunk the typical egg coffee ( I normally don´t drink coffee, but this was actually nice!). And we experienced funny moments where I saw cultural differences. When I was sitting in a park, I saw a girl fanatically making pictures of something behind me. At least, that was what I thought. It turned out she was doing a full shoot with me without me realizing it. She said that she pictured me because she thought I was really beautiful. I think the reason was that I was still really pale from all the sun I had not seen in the Netherlands. In the end, it was a very funny moment.

After days in the city, we thought it was time to find a place a bit more peaceful. Therefore we booked a ticket to Sapa where we arranged a homestay. In the next blog, I will tell you more about this beautiful experience. Because first, we had to get money for the trip. It was 12 o’clock at the evening when we walked to the ATM in a dark street. When people know me well, they know I hate insects. My nightmare became reality: thirty cockroaches walked with my to the ATM. I tried to stay calm, but when a cockroach wanted to explore my sexy Teva flip flops (which I can understand of course), I was done. I wanted to go back to the hostel, which resulted in getting up really early to get money. This time, the cockroaches were still sleeping. But of course, they will not go into a wintersleep the rest of my trip in 37 degrees. Fortunately, the beautiful country and things I see make up for the dirty insects.

Next time: more insects and the beautiful Sapa!


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