The first week of May is a big holiday week in China. Which is called “Golden week” just like in Japan. 130 million people moved at once in this week and every single place of China is extremely crowded. So I flew to Hanoi trying to avoid a flood of people but it turned out they had a special holiday week in Vietnam, too. Oh, well.
Hanoi was a wonderful city. Motorbikes flooded all over and you had to cross the streets always for dear life. The noise was enormous and the air was so polluted that I needed a gas mask. However, I will say Hanoi was wonderful because there you could eat real bread/wine and all kind of dishes and buy beautiful things for quite reasonable prices. Moreover, there were few people “hawking and spitting” and I felt much better in that place. Then, I made short trips from Hanoi to Sa Pa and Halong Bay.
In Sa Pa, you can enjoy lush green mountains and the hill tribe culture. I went to a Sunday market at Bac Ha and saw a lot of colorfully dressed people and beautiful hand made things. I made a short trek to some villages and enjoyed looking at those amazing terraces. I had the experience of trekking in north Thailand. Compared with there, the life around Sa Pa were more modernized but still they retain their original cultural way of living.
Halong Bay is well known as a designated world Heritage site since 1994. The Lonely Planet Guide Book says the landscape reminds us of Guilin in China and Krabi in southern Thailand. I visited both of these places before, but they are the “same same but different.” I slept on the deck of a boat there. I saw an “almost full” moon and unique silhouettes of lime stone islands at night. They were very impressive. While I was there I kept weeping and couldn’t stop my tears all the way back to Hanoi. It was neither because of the beautiful scenery nor a personal mental disorder, I was just reading a book. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I bought this book in Katmandu and started reading it in Thailand but I was busy with something after that and I had to give it a break. I resumed reading this book in Vietnam and I was absorbed in it. Beautifully written and painfully full of episodes of love/loss. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a good story.
| | 2007年06月06日（Wed）01:30 [EDIT]