Today was a pretty much just a travel day. We had a free morning to explore Vientiane in the morning. I took advantage of having some free time to finally sleep in and catch up on some much needed rest. Our flight to Hanoi, Vietnam was at about 1:00 in the afternoon. It was a short flight, and we had an easy time passing through passport control because we needed to acquire our visas prior to traveling.
My first thought about Hanoi is that it is super interesting and different from any other city I’ve been to! The juxtaposition between relaxing Laos and the hustle and bustle of Hanoi was jarring; however, you can’t help but marvel at how everything perfectly flowed together regardless of the craziness of all the motor bikes. We were told that Hanoi has a population of over 7 million! I felt like I already encountered half that many people just on the drive into the old quarter where we were staying.
We had some time to refresh before heading out to dinner. Exploring a new city at night is disorienting; however, you haven’t seen anything close to Hanoi!! Just crossing the street is an adventure! Our CEO said once you start waking, you need to continue with confidence…because the motorbikers can see the fear in your eyes. L. O. L. (It was so true though). From what I could tell, there were basically no traffic laws that needed to be obeyed. And good luck waiting for the flow of traffic to slow down before crossing, because that ain’t ever gonna happen!!! I threw out everything my parents ever told me when I was a kid about crossing the streets because I found the best way to avoid messing with the flow of traffic in Hanoi was to look straight ahead and keep walking. Literally do not stop. The drivers see you and are already anticipating their route around you. So when you stop, falter, or hesitate, the more likely you are to get hit! WILD!!
Well anyway…we made it safely to dinner where I scarfed down my first official meal in Vietnam. After that, we popped over to a bar across the way until we headed home for the night! Two countries down, and two to go! Can’t wait to start exploring Vietnam, but I can’t believe we are nearly at the half way mark for this trip!!