How many people are forced to go on holidays abroad? Not many I guess, but I was the lucky one!
Vietnam is quite close, Janneke&Toon are there and I had to leave the country.
Lise, my cousin, is studying in Cambodia though, so I had to choose between Vietnam and Cambodia.
Comparing prices and temperatures, the choice for Vietnam was quickly made.
Our container was supposed to arrive before I left to Vietnam but of course suddenly they announced it was delayed and it would be arriving while I was in Vietnam. So all the summer clothing in the boxes in the container weren’t much of a use to me.
A few days before leaving, I managed to buy some second hand clothing (skirt and top) and I found a light linen pants that actually fitted me, in Forever 21. Mind you I had to buy the biggest size they had in the store!
Arriving in Ha Noi was like arriving in Mumbai: hot and humid and a typical Oriental smell. I liked it!
Going through customs was a breeze and Janneke and Toon were awaiting me.
Toon had to get up early the next morning as he had to go to China for work. Janneke and I were alone for four days.
We made plans to go to other cities with busses and night trains, but in the end I much preferred to stay in Ha Noi than to run around like nuts to see as much as I could of Vietnam in one week. It became a week full of shopping, relaxing, walking, bicycling, … and eating.
Lots of eating! Most of the Vietnamese dishes are made out of rice. I truly enjoyed all the spring rolls, noodles, soups, … We quickly had a favorite restaurant. Cheap and delicious! Two times a day wasn’t an exception! I loved all the fresh juices you could get everywhere for just one euro, instead of the five euro here!
Two days we went cycling and I ended up with sunburn on my shoulders and a sore butt.
Janneke was a great guide. She showed me around in the non touristic areas, which I loved; she knew all the good shopping places; she knows a lot about the history of the city, etc …
She tried to convince me to like the Vietnamese coffee but that didn’t quite work! Most horrific thing to drink in the world, is my humble opinion!
We visited the cloth market. Heaven for some people in Belgium I think! I found some nice cloths.
When Toon came back he had to study for an exam and we explored a little market nearby where I bought some delicious cheese to take back to Korea for Maarten.
In a foreign import market I found gluten free flour and mixes.
And the last day, when Toon joined us, I bought some wooden bowls and a cute lamp. Plus I hit the grocery store: they had my favorite shampoo from India! So I just had to buy it. And they had deodorants! And chocolate! And candy!
The end result: 30 kilos of weight to take back instead of the 20 kilos allowed! Dear dear …
I borrowed a hand luggage bag from Janneke, stuffed it full and when I checked in, pretended it was very light. My one shoulder hung 5 centimeters lower than the other one but hey, it worked!
Coming back to Korea went smoothly. Luckily! It is always a relief to hear the ‘boink!’ of the stamp in my passport.
Waiting for my suitcase to arrive on the belt, a guy comes up to me and tells me my bag is on another belt, or actually, it is with customs clearance.
I saw it from far, with a red tag on it. As I was thinking how I would explain the cheese, flour, two bags of green beans, pesto, etc … I suddenly noticed no one was really watching my suitcase. So yes, I just passed by, took my suitcase and walked away. Mission accomplished.
Maarten was waiting for me with a red rose in his hands. He had left the house at 4.30 am to pick me up!
It was 6 degrees which made me already long for the nice temperature in Ha Noi.
what did I find in our apartment: flowers everywhere – on the table, sofa table, bed, etc … What a great end to seven days of sun, color, great food, wonderful company.
Janatoon travels: a good recommendation if you want to go to Vietnam!
Janneke and Toon: thanks again for the relaxing holidays!