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Hanoi

The Reunification Express (Part 1)

Distance so far: 14 582 km Of course there is no single train called “The Reunification Express” in Vietnam – that would be like East Coast calling the 08.30 from Kings Cross “The Flying Scotsman”.. Having said that I have a ticket on the SE1, so I’m going to imagine it is the closest thing to this mythical train, going all the way from Hanoi to Saigon in three days.┬áMy destination is Da Nang – 15 hours south of Hanoi in Central Vietnam. After China, getting on this train was very straightforward – no big queues in the station – […]

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Hanoi street meat

I have waited 24 hours before writing this post just in case there were going to be any health consequences of my recent street food banquet. I’m pleased to report that I’m feeling fine. So a day munching through the streets of the old quarter with a guide called “Johnny” from a great little company called Vietnam Awesome Travel that I tracked down from TripAdvisor. Lunch started at 11.30 and finished at 16.30! The idea is only one dish at each place, washed down with some Hanoi Beer of course.. There was a mixed international group of about ten of […]

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Weasel coffee

I’ve had a super day cruising the chaotic streets of the old quarter of a Hanoi – more on this in another post, but if thought I would first share my love of Vietnamese coffee with you (I know that some of you are already champions of the cause though..) One of the enduring good things the French did in Vietnam (other than import its taste in baking, brewing and the guillotine) was to popularise coffee and cafe culture, and it thrives today across the country. At the end of a long lunch (about seven courses in five places – […]

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Hanoi

Distance travelled so far: 13 819 km. Weather: foggy, chilly, 7 degs C I’m sat in the Sofitel bar listening to piano music and drinking reasonably good coffee. I’m exhausted. My room isn’t ready but I’m just happy to be able to have the run of the place and use my now unblocked social media for the first time in a few days. The women at the bar wear Ao Dai’s and greet you in French, which seems very different from the Chinese way. (“The Chinese Way” by Level 42 also pays homage to another famous Alan Partridge line, so […]

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