Monday, January 17, 2011

Ahoy, Hanoi!

I made it to Hanoi after a very brief enjoyable bus ride to find that it is freezing here. Well, it's cold compared to the tropical weather I've gotten used to over the past couple of months. The rain was enjoyable in Hue and Hoi An but, shoot, I was not expecting 40 degree days. I gave myself 10 days in the north because I thought I'd be able to hop on a motorbike and just cruise around for a bit. Nope. In addition to the freezing cold, the visibility in Hanoi is, for lack of a better descriptor, absolute crap. Sadly, my motorbiking days are over... in Asia at least. My parents just read that and breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Oh well. I will say that the cooler air is a relief and Hanoi is a fascinating place. I saw Ho Chi Minh in the (embalmed) flesh! I don't have any photos because no one is allowed to take any and for good reason. It was creepy walking in a silent single file line passed Uncle Ho all lit up and looking radioactive. You would think that if the government is paying upwards of 3 billion U.S. dollars to keep Ho in tip-top shape they'd be able to afford some quality lighting. It actually looked like he was glowing. I think I'll call the the color Nuclear Amber. I hope they create a Crayola crayon.

Since I am in Hanoi it was a must that I make a trip out to Halong Bay. Normally this is where I would post pictures and what not but unfortunately my memory card was infected with the virus that has been on my laptop and now the Anti-Virus software I installed wont let me open the folder with all of my pictures. The good news is I am now officially Virus free and protected from any further virus related things! Huzzah! Anyway, Halong Bay looks a little like this:

Normally. But when I visited because it is the middle of January it looked more like this:

Tomorrow I am heading a little bit further north for a few days to kill time before Croatia! It was apparently snowing last week so keep your fingers crossed that I'll be able to find some rubber boots or something practical.

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