Random Travel Notes
1. I love exploring a city on foot, getting lost & finding hidden places that you would otherwise never have come across. Some of our best meals in foreign cities have happened this way, by stumbling upon a random little gem. 2. A hot, steamy shower at the end of a long day is pure bliss.
3. Every time I pay for a meal in Vietnam or Thailand I still feel the need to say to Ben, "all this cost $2!!"
4. I actually really enjoy getting massages & spa treatments. Prior to this trip I had had 2 manicures in my life & the same number of massages. & I kind if prided myself on that fact. Now I'm a little addicted...
5. Without meaning to sound patronising, I love how 'simple' life is here in Vietnam & Thailand. Family, work (often family businesses), food, life. Less drama, less distraction, more life.
6. I wholeheartedly believe that the best food in Vietnam & Thailand is not found in restaurants, it is found on the street or roadside cafes.
7. Yoga is a great way to start the morning. It helps me to focus my energy (usually I run in the morning, but in large, crowded, manic cities this can be troublesome) & helps keep me *cough* regular - let's just say my body is used to wholegrains, which are noticeably absent in most Asian cuisines.
8. Travelling together highlights how similar Ben & I are. We both enjoy the same sightseeing activities, love exploring a city in a more off-beat way, get sick of clothes shopping but love anything to do with food (hello supermarkets!) & find great happiness in searching out local hangouts & trying to blend in. Ben often achieves this (so many locals have questioned "you Vietnam?"), but I kind of standout. In fact they take pictures of me. And then I blush & go red.
9. I am terrible at haggling. No need to expand on this, it is a fact. Ben, on the other hand, loves to play the game & sees it as a sport. Most of the time he wins.
10. Hairdressers in Vietnam love funky, 80s styles & play early 90s music.
11. Beer tastes better when you're on holidays.
12. Long bus/train rides are a nice way to catch up on some reading, sleeping or do a little writing. Right now we're on our way back to Hanoi from a day trip to Hoa Lu & Tam Coc (beautiful inland caves reached by boat). We rode bicycles between the towns. It was fabulous. I'm only just able to feel my toes again - it's slightly chilly up the north of Vietnam!
Hanoi is such a fantastic city, I'm a little in love.
Tomorrow we are off to Halong Bay, staying overnight on a boat & doing some kayaking. I'm so looking forward to it.