An Unending Tide of Humanity

Xin cháo (Hello) everyone. Our trials and tribulations have stopped and we are enjoying the heck out of Hanoi!  The people, the food, the sights are all we hoped for. The traffic is quite a challenge for us lowly pedestrians. This  little video clip is indicative of the the ebb and flow. It seems everyone here is always on two wheels. We are not sure where they are all going all the time. 

You would think with so many people ( 7.588 million) in such proximity we would see and hear conflict but really the only thing resembling this is the constant, continuous, never ending and all the time (yes, I know I am repeating myself redundantly – for emphasis) noise of the beep beep of scooter horns. We do not see and hear this as anger or peevishness but as a warning that ‘here I come, I don’t want to hit your scooter, so please stay outta my way’. 

I love getting up early and seeing a new place come alive in the mornings. With my camera of course. Rome, Dubrovnik, Edmonds are all late sleepers. Not so in Hanoi. While the pics below show relatively empty streets, there are lots of peeps out and about.  Nancy and I were out and about this morning. 

The everyday life is played out on the streets it seems. Especially in the Old Quarter where we have spent most of our time here. It is a rabbit warren of small streets, alleys and arm span wide alleyettes. Despite what the signs say, these are all a minimum of two way roads but we have to make sure our heads are on swivels at all times. The method Nancy hit upon in China of waiting to cross the street with a little old lady (LOL) does not work too well here. Everyman and woman for themselves. I have taken a few LOL under my wings to help them cross. It is tougher than Rome and quite a challenge. 

Vendors with their wares on bikes, hand carts and over the shoulder panniers are in traffic because the sidewalks are parking for scooters, dining rooms, kitchens and bars so we are all using the same space at the same time (physics does not apply here!). 

We are loving the food. Phó, barbecue (Vietnam style that is) hot pot, bahn mi, fresh fruit, French style breads. Flavored cold and hot teas. 

Traditional Vietnamese coffee is an individual drip cup, very strong and served with condensed milk

The architecture is diverse. This area is known for skinny houses. Maybe 10 feet across but 5 stories high. 

Also some old European churches. 

I do not know what kind of trees these are but they provide lots of shade. I do know what kind of wife this is though. She provides lots of love!

The beer ain’t great and decent wine is hard to find but fear not for us

Those are MaiTais we had last night. We have not partaken of the Mexican food or libations though. The cost is a little over $2 for a shot – expensive but imported (I hope). 

Nancy is especially captivated by the lovely ladies peddling their inventory 

Yesterday we hoofed it over to the Ho Chi Minh Museum and mausoleum (the latter was closed). Both are very large Soviet era block buildings. Here is Nancy with Uncle Ho. 

We meet up with our group later today so our travel style will be changing. I am sure we will have a great time. We will keep you posted.  We are headed south slowly including an overnight on a sampan on Halong Bay, another sleepover on a train between there and Hue. This map may help. 

I’ll leave you with a shot if this gent enjoying a smoke and cold tea. I cannot imagine how he could sit like this for the 10 minutes we sat across the street in chairs much less just a few seconds. 

cho đến lần sau 

(until next time) 

Chris & Nancy 

11 thoughts on “An Unending Tide of Humanity”

  1. Hi Guys! Great Photos and story line…sure wish we were there! Glad to see you found the Mai-Tai’s, Nancy looks very happy!! Enjoy!! Looking forward to following your adventure!


  2. Great blog, Chris with lots of photos to tell the story. Got some little sense of what it is like. Hope you meet lots of fun people on your tour. We always enjoy that part of touring too!


  3. wonderful photos – exotic locale for sure … are the local folks friendly to Americans ? is there much English spoken ? be safe you two kids… xo dusty and mike


    1. Hi Dusty, the people are terrific! As friendly as those anywhere. We have never met any group of people anywhere in the world who doesn’t like Americans (some do have issues with the various US administrations over the years and policies – as I do, especially now). But they love the individual travelers who take the time to visit. Provided of course, the visitors treat their hosts and host nation with respect, learn a few words and bring a good attitude.

      As far as the language, everyone (it seems) in the tourism industry speaks at least some English. If one doesn’t, her colleague does.

      As you can see from the pics, a beautiful place indeed.


    1. Chris & Nancy,

      Your pictures and comments are so very, very special. Thanks so much for sending and we look forward to seeing you when you return.



      1. Thanks again for sending the pictures and your thoughts and comments about your trip. It is very special.


  4. Chris & Nancy,

    Thanks for the update of your trip. It is very special to read your comments and see the pictures. Look forward to seeing more.

    Mike & Dusty


  5. I am having a great trip while watching the “Red-Zone!”
    The visuals are great and the running narrative is making me breathless – a true feeling of running through and across traffic. Very fun!
    Game time shortly, soooo, “Go Hawks!”
    Be well and safe,


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