27/5/07 30 °C
Hello my dear family and friends!
Sorry for the long delay between blogs. I have been high up in the mountains and then out in the deep blue sea, chilling out under palm trees on deserted islands and getting led astray by some of the not so locals for the last couple of weeks....but all is well!!!. It has been a technology detox of sorts as my mobile phone breathed it's last breath in Laos. So I apologise for any unanswered messages and texts. I really do have a legitimate excuse this time ( it is not just me being the hopeless correspondent that I am.... as you all well know!!!). Ohhhhh....where do I start???. Arrived in Hanoi late one night and immediately feel under the spell of the chaos and craziness of that wonderful city. I stayed in a charming little hotel in the old quater with a tiny balcony overlooking the streets below. My first evening I found a great little street corner bar, met some mad brazilians and had lots of laughs drinking awful wine and watching the world go by. The next morning I was on a mission to get a haircut...Yes, I did the big chop and am know sporting a new, very short do! The guy who cut my hair spoke very little english and when I pointed to my pony tail to signal "a trim" he grabbed the scissors and cut it off!!! Needless to say I had to go and have a few wines after the event. The streets of Hanoi beckoned to be explored so with regular stops at little cafes for cups of the wonderful strong syrupy brew I began my adventures. In the last 10 years Hanoi has seen an explosion in the number of motorbikes on the crowded, narrow streets and crossing the road is like a game of russian roulette. I loved jumping on the back of a "Honda dream" and zooming through the city. The Press Club bar housed in a beautifully restored french colonial building on one of the leafy boulevards was one of my favorite spots and I spent a number of evenings there catching up with friends and making some new ones...mostly of the expat variety! Plump sofas, ratten bar stools and low lights...it was a delightful escape from the hectic outside. The historic old quarter and the lakeside paths occupied me for hours...a great city to wander and absorb the almost Parisian feel but with all the charms I love about Asia. This is a city on the move. I was happy to know that I would be spending a week or so here but first....in world away from this chaos was a mountain area that had captured my curiousity .....so I boarded a night train bound for the surreal and astoundingly beautiful Sapa.
Lots of love to you all, Jane xxx