Exploring Old Hanoi 2020
Updated: Jan 4
Hanoi on Jet lag Time
When we departed for our eighth annual Vanishing Act, we did not have any inclination about how much the world would change - and especially international travel.
Even though it was called COVID-19, 2020 would be the year of disruption, social distance and masks. Before we became stranded in bali, we enjoyed almost three months of travel, starting in Vietnam.
Come along for the ride!
all aboard Eva Air Flight to Taipei
Worst thing one can do after a long haul flight is to go straight to sleep. We force ourselves to stay awake and get adjusted to local time by walking the streets and eventually sitting down for our first meal in Vietnam. Food being one of the main reasons why we travel. So pull up a tiny red plastic chair and enjoy a plate of noodles and spring rolls.
HANOI: DAY 2
Jet lag becomes a normal event after one has experienced numerous international flights- you learn how to roll with it, to accept it is going to take a while to be back to a normal routine so the best thing is to avoid fighting it.
We like to walk everywhere- the weather was warm but not too muggy. January in Hanoi can often be cold - when we were in Vietnam in 2016 it was actually too cold to visit; but this year we hit on almost perfect weather. Outside our door in the old town, it is a very different world then the one we left behind- a portal into a separate place and time.
Is this for real?
We walked to the Long Biên Bridge, designed by Gustav Eiffel, built in 1899-1902 by French architects Daydé & Pillé of Paris, opened in 1903. At 2.4 kilometres, it was, at that time, one of the longest bridges in Asia. More than 3,000 Vietnamese took part in the construction.
It was heavily bombarded during Vietnam War due to its critical position (the only bridge at that time across the Red River connecting Hanoi to the main port of Haiphong). The first attack took place in 1967, and the center span of the bridge was felled by an attack by 20 USAF fighter-bombers. CIA reports noted that the severing of the bridge did not appear to have caused as much disruption as had been expected.
Some parts of the original structure remain intact, while large sections have been built later to repair the holes. Only half of the bridge retains its original shape. A project with support and loan from the French government is currently in progress to restore the bridge to its original appearance.
Today trains, mopeds, bicycles and pedestrians use the dilapidated bridge.
It was quite a remarkable place to visit.
DAY 3: Hanoi
We spent the next couple days enjoying the pleasures of Hanoi
Our last day in Hanoi was spent walking around the lake and eating. Shocker I know...
Hanoi - that's a wrap. One of our new favourite places; we can't wait to come back.