Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam is situated in the midst of a tourist-friendly destination. It is replete with lakes, scintillating towers, and a tinge of the nativity that Vietnamese are impervious to. I didn’t do too much traveling when in Hanoi, but the lakes: West Lake and Ho Kiem are centered by a Pagoda-like structure. You can even explore the Pagoda in Ho Kiem by a bridge. The street along the lake brightens up at night, with the street becoming a walking only zone, and street music and live magic performers becoming the main attractions. If your stomach is strong enough, you must eat street-side delicacies, that the locals devour. Shopping is one of the major incentives for tourists from all parts of the world. Most of our branded clothes are manufactured in Vietnam, and you must take advantage of being there. Another surprising yet completely relaxing exercise is getting a foot massage in one of the innumerable massage parlors, they will serve you in a way that you will see the tiredness leaving your body.
A frenzied drive back to Hanoi airport and a two-hour flight down South, and you arrive at the unassuming yet beautiful city of Can Tho. Unassuming because most travel guides will refer to in passing as the town with the ‘Early Morning Floating Market’ or the city based on a river delta. But, the city is bereft of much tourism, and you can see Vietnam free of pseudo-glazed over extravagance. Living at a hotel, where we were one of the three families, we had a plethora of services at our beck and call. Renting cycles, we explored the town the whole day, while laid-back men and women lounging around the streets cheered for us. The delta and the floating markets are sights you must not miss, along with more options to shop at throw-away prices. While there aren’t many places to see, the hotel, shopping, and the overall experience overshadowed any hint of boredom.
I had a wonderful 9 days in Vietnam, I only regret missing out on Phu-Quoc island, which is a location you must try to fit in, and try spending a few days in. In any case, I hope my animated travels and weird experiences motivate you to travel safely once we are free of a life-threatening pandemic.