Seeing Vietnam

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

  • After some border crossing difficulties I’ve finally made it to Vietnam and already I wish I had more time here. The bus ride from the Loas border to the Vietnamese city of Hue set a stark contrast between this country and its neighbor. The road was fully paved and free of the giant holes that make every ride a bumpy one in Laos, and lush green jungle covered the rolling hills peppered with the bamboo shacks of small settlements where the people lead a simple life.

    Even with the clucking chickens in the back of the bus, along with the boxes and sacks of produce taking up every inch of floor space, the ride was enjoyable. The locals using the bus were amused at my presence and seemed to really enjoy our conversation made possible by me speaking into my iPod Touch to get a Vietnamese translation on the screen.

    Upon my arrival in Hue a bus runner took my impossibly heavy bag and placed it on his moped indicating that I should adorn a helmet and sit on the tiny space behind my bag then hold on tight as he took me to a hotel. Once there I cannot tell you the pure joy I felt when I saw a bathtub in my bathroom. Travelling in Asia changes your perception and standards of cleanliness, so the prospect of soaking in a bath of hot soapy water is wonderful. The hotel room also has AC, wifi, hot water, and a balcony, all for a mere £6 (US$9) a night!

    Despite being unspeakably tired I ventured out to explore Hue and find somewhere to eat. I like walking introductions to new places and this 366 pictures project has opened my eyes more than ever and made me search everything for beauty and interest. Todays picture is another reflection, this time of a mural in the window of a small café in Hue’s old town.

    My introduction to Vietnam was a memorable one. Beautiful countryside, city traffic madness that included a moped accident, and even a proposal of marriage! I think I’m going to enjoy seeing Vietnam.