Vietnam : Oi! Hanoi!

When I was asked to escort 28 people through Vietnam, I never really thought about the country, but spent most of my time thinking about the food – typical! So I really wasn’t prepared for the sight of 1000’s of motorbikes, cars, pushbikes, people and our laborious bus, weaving through traffic, having arrived in chaotic, exotic Hanoi at lunchtime. That’ll teach me to sit at the front of the bus!!!


Yup, and our bus went through here……. imagine crossing the road! Our tour guide, Happy, advised ‘just hold your hand in the air, walk slowly, but just keep walking – don’t run!’

We did get a chance to stretch our legs to meander through the elegant architecture and delights of the Old Quarter – fascinating….


So much to see, every space, shop front, alleyway, pavement has a congregation of either food, stools, people, live / dead / cooking produce and no matter whether the vendor is selling paint, stationary, lanterns, kitchen cupboards, they have no more space then their neighbour.


Happy, our lovely guide, giving  us the low down on how to cross the road ‘safety’!



Something to see, everywhere we look…




The local scaffolder’s selling lengths of bamboo and ladders…



Amongst it all, leaving me heady with wonder, how this amazing Cathedral managed to maintain it’s beauty and footprint amongst the tight congestion.  I just had to stop for a moment.



For one US dollar, a photo was mine!


One of Hanoi’s best restaurants, Bun Cha Dac Kim, selling street food at its best like pho bo, bun chan and bang cuon.IMG_2206


a family selling tombstones……



Look up and your breath freezes in your throat, no wonder WIFI is a little temperamental!


Our bus actually snagged a low hanging wire, which then took out a basket carrying pedestrian and a few motor bikes Oi Choi Oi (Oh My Goodness) – a Vietnamese statement I adopted whilst there!

No time to stop.

The legend says the dragon ascended from Ha Noi and descended into our next stop – Ha Long Bay and you will see why.