Travel and spontaneity are two words that have seldom gone together over the past three years. The continuing pandemic – combined with rising flight prices – has meant it’s not as easy as it once was to just jump on a flight and head off somewhere. Despite this fact, we somehow found ourselves heading to Narita last week armed with two small backpacks (under 5kg) and dirt-cheap flights to Hanoi in Vietnam. Japan has only just opened up its borders, meaning a PCR test is no longer required to enter the country as long as you are vaccinated. This meant we could essentially fly to and from Vietnam with no restrictions – the same as pre-pandemic days.
Booking ourselves into an apartment style hotel near the south end of the West Lake, we enjoyed four days of total chaos as is the norm in Vietnam. Horns blaring… dust…fumes… total sensory overload that can be completely overwhelming one minute, then totally dissipate the next. It’s amazing how chaotic some of the main streets can be, only for a side street just 50 metres away to be tranquil and silent. Staying well away from the touristy Old Quarter gave us a more authentic experience, and we barely saw another visitor for the duration of our trip. We didn’t hit up any of the tourist sites, instead choosing to cycle around the streets, getting lost and seeing where we’d end up. Here are some photos from those meanderings.