Oh dear... It seems that I haven't been here for almost 2 months! I can't quite believe that time flies by so fast. It sure has been a very busy period - I hardly ever spent more than 3 days at home in a row and work was overlapping with personal projects and holidays too.
Out of all my recent travels, the trip to Vietnam definitely stands out. It's been a while since I went to South-East Asia for the last time. I think it must've been Myanmar in 2016, even before I started this blog.
When going to Vietnam I expected to find a country that would be quite similar to the neighboring Cambodia and probably to other countries in this part of the world. Luckily, Vietnam turned out to be pretty much different from any other places I've visited so far.
Once arrived to Hanoi, I instantly found myself in the middle of typical, south-asian city, bustling with life and dominated by a crazy traffic. However, I realized quite quickly how unique is this city making it very exciting to discover during a couple of days.
One of the things that immediately caught my eye was the amount of trees and other vegetation in the whole city. It makes Hanoi look incredibly green and adds a lot to the city's great vibe. Cause one thing's for sure - Hanoi has a great feeling. In spite of intense traffic, there isn't much rush. People walk slowly, take their time to chat with each other, they enjoy their time eating and playing outside. Omnipresent street vendors are not obtrusive, making it really enjoyable to wander around and soak up the atmosphere of the city.
The amount of things going on simultaneously on the streets of Hanoi is simply mind-blowing and as a photographer I could have spent hours in one place, shooting and watching life passing by.
One of the places where I spent a crazy amount of time and where I was returning more than twice, was the quite famous "train street" (no idea what's the local name of this street). Located in the center of Hanoi and surrounded by buildings, this narrow street is known for the rails running in the very middle of it. Twice a day there is a train passing through. Unfortunately, I didn't have the chance to see it not even once. On the other hand, all the life happening on the rails when the train is not there, is possibly much more interesting to observe and take part in.
Whole families are sitting outside, eating and chatting, while others are cooking and washing clothes. There are a few bars where you can enjoy a cold beer and some snacks. Chickens are running around, making you feel almost like in a countryside. I definitely don't regret hours spent in this area :)
What really surprised me in Hanoi, but also during the whole trip, was the weather. More than 10 days of travel and not a single ray of sunshine, was definitely not something I was prepared for. In Hanoi it was particularly foggy, rainy and grey.
It turned out to be not so bad for taking photos and discovering the city. Occasional heavy downpours were making streets shiny and even more colorful with umbrellas and plastic raincoats.
Starting the trip with a stay in Hanoi was definitely a good decision and a great introduction to the central and southern parts of Vietnam. Stay tuned for more posts about Vietnam and photos of countryside, nature and other cities.