A Travellerspoint blog

East meets West in Hanoi

overcast 10 °C

We have been in chilly Hanoi for three days now and I can safely say it is the coldest both Charlie and I have been since we left the UK - back in November. The temperature has dropped close to 4 or 5 degrees above zero most evenings and neither of us were really prepared for this weather. In fact, if it were not for the proactive intervention of Lee (Charlie's Mum who has since joined us temporarily on the adventure) bringing some much needed thermals for both of us we would be freezing our faculties off!!

Vietnam is the first communist country I have ever visited and Hanoi bears testament to the Soviet influence that the country still retains. Whilst the city is thriving, sprawling, modern and expanding, it still retians an old Eastern/Asian charm with many French colonial buildings indespersed amongst the chaotic streets. The legacy of Ho Chi Minh is almost everywhere within the city and whilst we have not managed to see his embalmed body at the Ho Chi Minh tomb (due to the Chinese/Vietnamise New Year) we have visited the equally impressive military museum. The museum is a tribute to the American War - which we refer to as the Vietnam war - and gives a brutally honest account of Vietnamese suffering during the futile fighting in the 1960s and 1970s. Images of Ho Chi Minh are littered throughout the museum and his impact and direction on the war are highlighted throughout. We have also seen the equally impressive Opera House and the many boutique galleries that line the streets next to it. The artwork has been impressive and both Charlie and Lee have purchased some nice pieces. I also bought Charlie a lovely portrait by a local hill tribe artist for her birthday that will, one day, adourn our first house :-)

We are celebrating Charlie's 31st birthday today. Unfortunately we have an 18 hour train journey south to Hoi-An so the real celebrations will be slightly delayed until we reach warmer climbs in the next day or so.

It is lovely to have Lee on board for this leg of the South East Asian adventure and it is also really nice for both of us to share a smaller part of our bigger adventure with someone so close. We are also thinking lots about the rest of our loved ones back home - so keep the comments coming please!

Much love.

Ross and Charlie

Posted by charlieandross 05:15 Archived in Vietnam

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Hi Charlie and Ross,

Just wanted to say a big Happy Birthday to Charlie today. Sounds like you're celebrating in style on your long train journey! Have a great day!

Emily xxx

by Emily O'Gorman

Hi Charlie and Ross!

Wishing Charlie a very happy birthday! I hope you are both having a fantastic time, it certainly sounds like it from your blog!

Enjoy your day and safe travels

Love Amy

by amyjsullivan

We have enjoyed reading your latest account and well done Lee with a brilliant piece of forward thinking. Earlier today, we went to Chelmsford with Anna and Ollie and have just finished eating dinner together. Ollie enjoyed the homemade pasta sauce but a large percentage of it ended up around his face and in his hair! Just like his Grandad!
We hope you enjoy Charlie's birthday celebrations and if you have anything with sauce, keep it out of your hair!
Much love to all three of you, Happy Birthday Charlie,
Mum and Dad B xx

by vancoevorden13

Hi Charlie and Ross,

Things been totally manic this end, with kids being ill etc but am finally catching up on your blog and your adventures sound totally amazing.
Charlie it must be so lovely to have your mum with you!
We are all fine and missing you guys lots, loving all the updates and photos!
Lots of love & hugs, steph,ash,lilly & luke xxxx

by StephieB

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