The scooter nightmare!   Leave a comment

Hanoi…bloody hell.  Thankfully we spent only one day there.  There were scooters everywhere.  We spent the day shopping for a new dive bag and Kerry’s iPad.  We had researched the only shop for each before hand.  Because of the distance and Hanoi having no metro system, we used the very efficient and cheap taxis.  In total we travelled some 15km around the city for less than a fiver.  If we had travelled straight to Hanoi from the UK I think our heads would have exploded with the noise, smell, concentration required to stay alive, volume of scooters and poverty of the city.  It reminded me of Matrakesh, Morrocco when I arrived there for the first time only times 10!  I’m glad I visited and experienced the city, but have no desire to return.  The average standard of living there is very low.  Some people earn as little as 100 dollars per year.  The planners are trying to build a metro system in the city, however I don’t think there is enough money in the city for people to afford to use it.  Let alone the chaos building it will cause.

This was the final day of Our China/Vietnam tour.  In the evening we went for a great farewell dinner at a restaurant set up by a charity. Its aim – to take in homeless and deprived kids and teach them skills to get on in life.  The chefs, bar staff and waiters are all from this background.  They were all polite, spoke good English and couldn’t do enough to make our night an enjoyable one.  It was great to see the project working so well.

Finally most of the boys among our group decided to shave their hair off.  Going out with their shaved heads and matching checked shirts they looked like brothers.  I didn’t shave my head (concerned it would never grow back at my age) and to buck the trend (surely not) I wore one of my floral shirts!

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

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Posted 17/10/2011 by Stefan Palmer in Vietnam

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