Hanoi, Vietnam: Land of coffee and motorcycles

After our brief stop in Taiwan, we moved on to country #5 on our month long trip – Vietnam!  This marked our entry to Southeast Asia, aka backpacker’s paradise.  We instantly understood why so many budget travelers flock to the area.  Everything is super cheap, the streets are bustling, and the culture is completely unique.

We had a few days in Hanoi, and we will always remember it for two things: coffee and motorcycles.  (Tommy would also add banh mih sandwiches to the list!)  They’re everywhere, in every variety imaginable!!!  Hanoi was one of the first places we really wandered around, just trying local specialties and absorbing the culture, instead of focusing on the most famous attractions we could visit.  Of course, we did check out a few of the main sights as well, but quite honestly our afternoons spent wandering from cafe to cafe were one of our favorite parts of the whole trip.  Keep reading to experience this vibrant, crazy city with us!

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Taipei, Taiwan: Wait, are we back in China?

As I continue catching up on our trip back in February (yikes!), it’s time to talk about Taiwan.  There’s really no reason this post got so far behind as it was actually the shortest part of our trip – we were only in Taipei for about 36 hours!  We had decided to stop here because to get from Tokyo to Vietnam you could either take an expensive flight with a long layover, or a cheap short flight to Taipei and a second cheap short flight onward to Hanoi.  We decided on the latter and got a tiny taste of Taiwan.

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Market madness, Moped meltdown, Major decisions

Yes, it killed me a little not to be able to finish the alliteration! 😂 Anyways, the last couple weeks have been pretty relaxed here.  No extra days off means spending the weekdays teaching and going into ultimate sloth mode on the weekends.  No complaints about that!  This past Saturday we did venture out to the market, which occupies the town’s main streets every 5 days.  We’ve gone to it before but never for very long, so this time we dedicated all morning to checking out every street it spills onto and trying lots of new food.  Hopefully these photos give a little glimpse into the colorful and fast-paced madness of our local street market.  All this time at home also gave us a chance to reflect on what we want to do when our contract ends in January, so be sure to get all the way to the bottom to find out what we decided!

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