Hoi An


Hoi An is, by all standards a gigantic tourist trap. The streets of Old Town feel a bit like Disneyland and everyone wants to sell you something, specifically, a tailored suit made in 24 hours. We both throughly enjoyed it. It’s picturesque, with endless rice paddies, low lying French colonial buildings and a general feeling that one ought to slow down.

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A Train to Hoi An


It was the first pang of homesickness I’ve felt in my twelve weeks abroad. It was night, and our train was rocking its way out of the suburbs and neon lights of Hanoi towards our destination of Hoi An. We booked last minute, three days ahead and were lucky to score seats on a hard six bed sleeper. Six of us fit into a 48sq. ft. space, just barely enough room. We were lucky though, our cabin had three quite women and another man who spent most of his time elsewhere. Down the hall there were screaming babies, drunk locals and smokers who disregarded the no smoking signs. Our cabin mates went to bed at 9pm.

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Halong Bay


Halong Bay. It is iconic Vietnam. I had been looking forward to kayaking through the labyrinth of soaring limestone cliffs ever since I knew I would be in southeast Asia. It was just as spectacular as I had hoped. Though the tourism in the area is a bit disappointing, in the way development tends to be, It was never the less very worthwhile.

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Hanoi greeted us with cigarette smoke, rain, chaotic motorbikes threatening dismemberment, and the sweet fermented scent of beer drifting through the streets. We had made it to Vietnam.
Hanoi is the throbbing epicenter of the north, chaotic to say the least. Many find it overwhelming, but no one would deny that this city makes you feel alive. Even if that’s because crossing the street is often an adrenaline pumping affair of blind faith.

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