Six weeks of travelling Asia has officially kicked off!
We landed in Hanoi, Vietnam at 5 am Wednesday. We cabbed to our tiny hotel near the old quarter and it’s immediately obvious here that everything is flexible — traffic laws, etiquette, prices — it is all in a constant state of flux that everyone seems to not only be comfortable with, but incredibly patient about.
Mopeds are EVERYWHERE — we’ve already seen everything from an entire fruit stand to a husky dog riding alongside — and everyone uses their horns as constant reminders of approach or infraction of whatever passes as road etiquette.
The biggest impression is how young and approachable the Vietnamese are — no matter where we go, people do not give off the same need for personal space and ownership like Westerners. You can walk right in front of oncoming traffic and while someone may honk, their reaction is incredibly subdued and polite. (Also, no one seems to go faster than they are be able to stop.)
You can walk right in front of oncoming traffic and while someone may honk, their reaction is incredibly subdued and polite. (Also, no one seems to go faster than they are be able to stop.)
We’ve only seen a few other backpackers with which we exchange a smile and keep moving as if hiding a small secret. #nonewfriends
So far, we’ve eaten Pho and drank perhaps the best coffee to ever reach our lips. We now plan on keeping a firm caffeine buzz for the duration of our travels.
No idea how tipping culture works — need to do some research tonight into when to pony up. (I gave our cabbie 20,000 dong (about $1 USD) as a tip and we acted like I bought him a house.)
PSA Update: Flipping on their brights means a car will NOT stop for you. #themoreyouknow
Words by Sam Campbell & Snaps by Victoria Campbell