I love Ha Noi!
We have fitted in so easily to our life here, are part of the community and understand the ebb and flow of the street life with ease.
Nevertheless, we shall do some travelling while we are here, and have booked two flights to this end; first, to Nha Trang on the southern coast on Monday, 4 August, from where we plan to make our way to Da Lat in the hills for a few days.
The next journey booked is to Siem Riep (Xiem Riep in Vietnamese) in Cambodia a week or so later, leaving Ha Noi on Sunday, 17 August and returning the following Sunday. In the meantime we hope to jump on our zippy little Yamaha 'Nouvo' Motor scooters and do some further travel around the Ha Noi region.
To this end, we started travelling further afield earlier in the week, scooting the 65-odd kilometres down to the Perfume Pagoda (Chua Hu'o'ng) on the madness and joy of the Vietnamese road system. A very hot day, it was good to be moving in the open air, and I reluctantly replaced my spiffy little orange-flowered broad brimmed helmet hat with a sensible hulk-green head protector with a visor. I love my orange helmet, but unfortunately once one gets up to the dizzying speeds over 30 kilometres an hour, the brim acts as a parachute, both flinging my head back and slowing down my progress and attempting to act as an effective noose.
It was a good learning experience for us both, especially Bob, who became a little sunburnt on the arms and legs, and re-assessed his rather optimistic time frames for travel on the bikes to our proposed destinations. We found that a break for a drink and a stretch about every hour was necessary, as I had suggested having had spent some lengthy time in the saddle on my daily commutes and trips to the airports and so on.
Today we are attempting to book tickets for the Football Friendly between the Brazilian Olympic side and the Vietnam national team on the 1st of August. Without Vietnamese, finding information is tricky to say the least, however I seem to have a website for on-line bookings, however since it 'opened' for bookings at 9am, I have not been able to access it. I hope that we can go to the match, in this football mad country (there are at least three dedicated soccer channels on TV, with the sports channels and Vietnamese networks all having heavy coverage as well), it would be a wonderful cultural experience.
[To Be Continued . . . .]