June 15, 2005

hanoi wins

this city has defeated me. it's really too much. it's hot and in your face every second.

everything happens right on the street. you can't walk on the sidewalk because there are people having hair cuts, women cooking food, people eating, parked motorcycles, buildings extended out onto the side walk. you have to walk in the street. of course in the street are about a billion bikes. the most recent i heard, vietname has 14.9 million of them (with a population of 84 million.) it's loud, frantic, and in your face. and every block you have at least one person asking if you want a ride or want to buy something.
yesterday i felt compleatly defeated. just hot and very tired. all i wanted to do was retreat to a quite air conditioned room. so i ended up going to bed early at 10pm.
but today was much better. it was only 85 F today (still humid though.) that small temp difference really left me feeling much better. also, we took it easy today and didn't go to so many places. that really made a big difference.
all this said, i haven't disliked the city. once you get out of the old quarter things calm down a bit. and there are lots of places to explore and try out that i haven't managed to get to, and probably won't get to.
now we're taking it easy, just sitting at cafes, reading, drinking, and relaxing. tonight we're taking the train to sapa. a village in the mountains where we're hoping it will be a bit cooler. (and a bit less intense.)


  1. is hanoi as hot as beijing was?

  2. is hanoi as crowded as beijing was? btw, be careful in cambodia:

  3. the streets of hanoi are much smaller and more crowded with seas of motorcycles racing up and down them. the day that killed me in hanoi it supposedly topped 39 C, with a very high level of humidity. i don't ever remember beijing being so oppressively hot. (Course i spent most days working in an air conditioned building.)