28 June 2019

A Voyage to Vietnam: Exit Vietnam

So it has been an interesting three weeks. After spending 21 days in Vietnam, and narrating it for the past 4 months, it is time to leave. My visa-free time is up, so I need to board a plane and head back to Europe.

We woke up early from our apartment in Hanoi, and sure enough, during the appointed time, our taxi heading to the airport was waiting for us. It would be the last time we would take the long road to Noi Bai International Airport, as we used it several times since we also took domestic fights during our stay. Since it's still very early, there was no traffic.

We found our check-in counters, and effortlessly dropped our bags. After that, the standard procedure was followed: we crossed immigration, and I got a stamp in my passport. We crossed security, and then checked out the duty-free. And a few minutes afterwards, our flight was ready for boarding.

After spending three weeks in Vietnam, I formed some favourites, some highlights, as well as some lowlights. I loved the egg coffee (cà phê trứng), which is a very sweet drink with dark strong coffee and whipped egg yolks. There was this cafe that is hidden behind a textile store, somewhere in Hanoi, which we actually went to almost every day we were in Hanoi. I got addicted to that stuff. And the funny thing about this cafe is that if you don't know it exists, you probably won't see it. You need to enter the textile store, go behind the rolls of fabric and the people working in there, and go to the inner courtyard, where you order what drink you want. Then you climb up, all the way to the rooftop if possible, and take a seat. A few minutes later, your drink, in my case, a cà phê trứng, will be delivered.

I also eventually hated the motorbikes. At first I thought they were amusing. You know, you cross the street like a video game, like this frog hoping that you won't get crushed. At first I actually enjoyed it, since my husband was more terrified about it. But after three weeks, I eventually found that habit exhausting, and it made me think that I would not be able to live in Hanoi. A visit is probably enough. The thing with the motorbikes is that traffic lights are meaningless to them. Green doesn't mean go, and red doesn't mean stop. As long as there is an empty space in front, they would go for it. Some of them had to stop literally a few centimetres from my legs.

The thing is, three weeks perhaps gives you time to scratch more than just the surface. And looking back, we definitely saw quite a bit of the country. That said, there's still plenty of areas that we haven't even touched. The central cities of Hoi An and Hue for example were all untouched. And while my husband spent an extra week and explored the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City, I haven't seen that at all.

So yes, I think I will come back. I can imagine spending another three weeks in Vietnam, some other time. We'll see when that would be the case.

2 comments:

  1. Motorbikes scare me in SE Asia. In Bangkok, I briefly considered trying a motorbike taxi, just for the hell of it. But I saw so many really bad accidents in my short time in Thailand that I decided against it.

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    1. Zhu,

      Thankfully I didn't have any accidents, but I did hear some stories of foreigners getting burned in the legs and other such issues that I always was extra careful whenever I was riding one.

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