back in Ha Noi

I’m blogging this from Ha Noi as I flew here today to present for the next week at the 4th Asian Regional Law Enforcement Management Program (ARLEMP 4). The weather in Ha Noi is ‘chilly’ right now and it is already making me wonder how much more ‘chilly’ it will be in two weeks time when we begin our motorbike ride from here out to the Laos border, then north to Sa Pa on the Chinese border with a detour to Dien Bien Phu on the way.

I have my winter woolies with me including a pair of ‘pre-loved’ fleece lined boots that I travelled to the weekend markets in Bangkok especially to buy. I think the only other thing that I need will be a pair of gloves, but I have two weeks in which to purchase those. The biggest problem that I see is that it will possibly be quite hot in the middle of the days but damned cold at night. Oh well, the Cat Cat guesthouse where we intend to stay in Sa Pa has open fireplaces in the bedrooms so that is something to look forward to.

Flying out of Sai Gon today was extremely interesting as I had a window seat and as we took off I recognised the road that Loic and Jaap and I had taken on our recent ride to Lake Tri An. In fact I could recognise the intersections where we needed to make our turns, then the quarry area and the bridge that takes you into the village of Buu Long. Ten minutes from take off and the lake came into view and I could make out the small hotel where we had stayed, the island which we had visited by boat and I was gob smacked to see that the lake extended so far. The boat trip had taken us about 20 minutes but the lake goes on for about ten times that distance.

A scene on the beautiful Ho (lake) Tri An

Approaching the small island from the boat

Road in the small resort on the lake shore