Tomorrow I'm leaving for the Ha Long Bay to spend two days visiting this iconic Vietnamese landscape. Our month in Hanoï is coming to an end. I know I will come back, it's such a unique city. Booming, and yet, authentic.
My month in Ho Chi Minh City was quite different: the city center is full of tourists, traditions are being lost. Hanoï remains popular and authentic. The appartment I live in is about a kilometer from the Hoan Kiem lake. Street food stalls are still filling up the buildings. Mornings and evenings are so lively, full of scents, interesting sights, noisy at times. Hanoï is the kind of place where everything appears extra-ordinary.
The biggest changes appear in the capital's periphery. Fields and fruit trees are being wiped out to leave room for foreign investors.
Transportation is still an ongoing issue in Vietnam, contributing to the ever increasing air pollution. It's not unusual to wear a mask around here.
Oddly enough, even though Vietnam is still a country in development, no one is left starving in the streets. Mendicity is prohibited. It doesn't mean poverty or malnutrition is a thing of the past, but the progress are encouraging.
Over the following month I'll be living in Hue, then Saigon again in August. Until next time, Hanoï.