In Thailand I was sick for two nights and it took me a full day to recover, most likely from food but can't say it's from street food. It's so easy for food to be contaminated and I was eating at descent places recently. It's humid, sunny, sleep deprived so there's so many other factors that make this such a terrible experience. Luckily, I had my own nice bathroom during this time.
A few mins before I went to the airport things seemed to stop. It was a full day planes/airports and I sick free to Hanoi Vietnam. I met up with two friends from sweet little homer, Alaska. We hoped to meet up at some point and we happen to come the same day to Hanoi. Crazy awesome timing.
Hanoi is ruled by motor bikes. You have to just walk right in front of them with confidence to cross the street. There are sidewalks but motorbikes park on them. Surprisingly the streets are pretty clean. It's winter, but super refreshing to feel the fall like weather. Locals looked at me as they wear their winter coats and I wear my dress and sandals.
We walked to a lake and visited "Ngoc Son Temple, built in the 18th century on Jade Island in the centre of the ‘Lake of the Returned Sword’. Legend describes how an emperor was once given a magical sword which helped him defeat the Chinese Ming Dynasty and in doing so saw the return of the Golden Turtle God to the lake."
Super layers of complex history here. In the afternoon, I visited Hoa Lò Prison built by the French in the late 1800s, colonized this country till 54. The French held Vietnamese political prisoners and later it was used by North Vietnam for U.S. Prisoners of War during the Vietnam war.
The vietnamese were held in terrible conditions. The loyalty and will of the people, even in prison, was amazingly strong for over 50 years.
After japan surrendered WWII, Vietnam declared its independence. It Took about 9 years to release the prisoners and 30 years before a united, communist Vietnam became reality."
After dinner we caught a glimpse of some street performance. The vocals gave us a headache. The guys are getting over something worse than I had so they didn't join me on my next stop which is a bummer.
Everyone says visiting Sapa is a must to do a trek and homestay to see the rice paddies and endless greenery. After two nights, I hoped on a morning bus which is used for overnight. The seats went way back but it's built for small frames. I opted to stay on the second level as I never seen such a bus before. Super excited for my next few days In Sapa. A bit nervous about the cold as its way on the mountains, let's hope the ski clears a bit too. I won't have wifi for 3 days!!
Link to Hanoi pix https://goo.gl/photos/8y7fnz8KQUrrrwA46