Before going to Vietnam, I knew little about the country. I knew about what in Europe is commonly called The Vietnam War. I knew about the rice fields and about the hats. I knew about the famous Halong Bay. That Vietnam was a beautiful country. I knew it had fantastic food. And I knew I wanted badly to go.
Now, when I look back to those blissful two weeks in the country, many images, smells, sensations, sounds, and flavours, come to mind.
I think about the people determined to not look to the past. Holding grudges is not something the Vietnamese do. It is a peaceful way of living.
I think about the food, the fruit mostly. The watermelon, the mangos… so rich in flavour. Pancakes with banana, and pineapple. Just the memory makes my mouth water.
I think about the coffee. Delicious coffee, no matter how you decide to take it. Egg coffee is something to try; you will love it if you have a sweet tooth. The coffee tasting was one of the best things I could have done in Hoi An.
I think about the noise, the smoke. Definitely not my favourite thing, but something you can’t escape from in a big city like Hanoi. After a couple days, my eyes were burning, and I felt smoke lodged in my lungs.
I think about the women with their traditional attire, taking pictures before set. As I visited just before the Lunar New Year, their biggest event of the year, photoshoots were happening in major attractions.
I think about colours, so many colours. The yellow buildings, the lanterns. I think about red. Red was everywhere to welcome the New Lunar Year, and to bring fortune.
I think about the smell of incense burning
I think about the power of the resilient people of Vietnam. Under the power of the Chinese for a thousand years, to be then invaded by the French and finally the brutal American War. A rich and troubled past, but hopefully a more peaceful future.
I think about all of those treasures still being uncovered. A country that for centuries had to focus on surviving, and just in the past decades has had the chance to start uncovering and recovering its cultural treasures.
I think about the pull of slow living. I took it slow on this trip. I didn’t get to visit as many places as I wanted, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I started to film, a made some little and humble videos.
Vietnam is definitely a place I want to go back to and it will always hold a special place in my heart as it was my first destination in Asia. This was also my first adventure of 2023, a great way to kick off the year. It’s been amazing to share the photos and the videos with the online community and I’m definitely looking forward to creating even more video content in the next few months.
If you have been keeping track of my Vietnamese posts, thank you. If not, feel free to do so – all my Vietnamese posts are available here 🙂
2 thoughts on “Looking back to my trip to Vietnam”
Your article resonates with me very much as I too think of the people and their resilience confronting one invasion after another. Vietnamese food is one of the best cuisines I’ve ever tried and the egg coffee is a delicious, such an unlikely concoction. I’ve enjoyed reading about your adventures and seeing one of my favourite countries through your eyes.
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Thanks Leighton, I’m glad to hear somehow you could retrace some of your steps as well and remember this amazing country, people and food. Definitely a place I will want to go back to at some point 🙂
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