The GoGlobal Blog

North and Central Part 3

North and Central Part 3

After our time in Hoi An we flew to Hanoi to finish up our trip. Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and the country’s second largest city. It is also an incredibly beautiful, hectic and overwhelming city. We live in Saigon, which is chaotic by any standards, but Hanoi makes Saigon look tame. The city is built around the old quarter, which has maintained  the original street layout and architecture of Old Hanoi. The streets are so narrow and every inch is filled with shops and residences. The streets are filled with motorbikes, which is nothing new to us coming from Saigon. However, we determined that it seems so much more chaotic because there is so much less space in the streets!

We visited some significant sites in Hanoi. We saw Ho Chi Minh’s body, a shocking sight for sure. I wasn’t aware that we would be viewing the actual body, I thought we were simply visited his mausoleum. We also visited the Temple of Literature, which was built in 1070 and held Vietnam’s first university. It is dedicated to Confucius and it was interesting to see all the university students that still flock there to take photos during graduation and walk through the symbolic gate of virtue.

After leaving the chaos of Hanoi, we headed east to Ha Long bay. Ha Long bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes, over 1,969 in all. We spent four hours cruising around these beautiful and massive cliffs, stopping to visit the largest cave in Vietnam. The entire trip was wonderful, I learned so much and it was amazing to see for myself the historical sites we had been discussing all semester. I’m glad to be back in Saigon!

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