Flying above the clouds in Oz, the snowy white clouds are mesmerising as they glint in the sunshine. Leaving Vientiane in the Laos operated Airbus A320, 3 x 3 with the isle in between and brand new was a great flight. 20 minutes up. 2 minutes for a bun and 20 minutes descending. My idea of a flight even if the plane flies at about a 15 degree upward tilt. The clouds were beautiful going up the mountain and then as we started to descend it looked like thin tea was coming up through the pristine white. Pollution. The traffic is fascinating to watch from 17 floors up. Few traffic lights and trillions of motorbikes, taxis and cars. At five way intersections they all merge with prodigious use of the horns but in a friendly way. The taxi from the airport even ‘leaned’ against a 20 ton truck on the left with a 30 ton truck in front – unbelievable. Crossing the roads is an experience in itself. Imagine Traffic busier than Piccadilly Circus – they just slowly start walking across and the traffic goes round them!
Many of the motorcyclists were face masks as the pollution is so bad. We walked for three hours yesterday in the old part of town – whole streets of leather wear, then whole streets of mobile phones an so on. Chris bought another scarf but we didn’t find anywhere to eat so got home knack erred and raspy throated from the traffic fumes.
Sofitel Hanoi – a magic stay – who could not be in Club by the infinity pool….
Today we went to the Presidential Palace.
We also toured the tranquil setting of the old city – Thang Long – “The Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel” surprisingly not promoted on any of the tourist brochures so about five acres of incredible bonsai trees, gardens, archaeological digs and shrines and the Military bunker where all the Generals ran the Vietnam War – just empty. Lucky us.
The Ho Chi Min Mausoleum and cottage on stilts where he worked
Massive number of army personnel on the streets – think there may be a function on tomorrow.
I think we did another four Kms or so today and managed to have a beer out – still got home stuffed. Hoping to go on a Food Walking Tour tonight or tomorrow – will keep you posted.