Friday, March 25, 2011

Holiday in Vietnam

I've been on holiday in Vietnam for the last couple of weeks, in Hanoi for the Tet new year festival and then travelling down to Saigon via Ha Long Bay and various other spots. It's weird for a travel writer to go on holiday. If I get time off I really would rather spend a week ordering in pizza and watching DVDs than pack my bag and go travelling again. It's actually really useful to simply travel for a while again, using a guidebook as a traveller not a writer and remembering all the little bits of information that you need when you travel.

Vietnam was a tad disapointing for me. I loved riding motorbikes for $5 a day and enjoyed all the war-related sites. Visiting Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum rounded off the holy trinity of communist corpses (I've seen Mao and Lenin). My personal highlight was kayaking around the karst cliffs of Halong Bay. But I was dissapointed by the food and the sense that I was little more than a walking wallet for most locals. It's probably just a sign that I'm getting old - without the focus of research the frustrations of travel seem harder to endure. Still, it was nice to be travelling with my wife. Mostly I'm by myself when I'm travelling so it was a real novelty to be able to share thoughts, and have an excuse to upgrade to a nicer hotel room and order a cocktail. And god it's nice to be missing winter in Montana...

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