I talked today with the folks that run the long stay hotel I am in. I wanted to stay in the same room I have had and at first I thought I may have to move but they have locked me in to the room until my departure from Hanoi on 14 June. The whole thing about traveling this time I wanted to restate. The going slow part reaps benefits. I get to settle in to a place, learn the restaurants, the walks I can do, the places. Given that I will never see the wondrous city of Hanoi completely and I don’t expect to. What I do expect is to leave in June with a set of memories locked in with my photographs of thousands of memories of the streets and the people and the culture and food. If you are considering a trip and perhaps are old and close to retirement or you have retired and wonder how to make ends meet, let me tell you to consider doing what I did. Getting the six month multiple entry visa for Vietnam was totally worth it. I will have spent 3 months give or take in beautiful Hanoi and still will have two months and change in Ho Chi Minh City.
The good thing about travel this way is that you can budget the time and expenses and also book very reasonable domestic flights to various and sundry places in north, central, and south Vietnam. So many places and I will probably not make it to the Mekong Delta at this point due to weather issues when I want to go. I may have to come back from Cambodia or do the trip along the delta from Phnom Penh instead. I just don’t want to miss things.
I chatted with a friend on Facebook Messenger today while having beers and watching a rain shower move in and then just as suddenly move out. I was telling him its not so much how many countries you can get stamped in your passport. Its more about finding a place you can settle into. Vietnam is easy to settle into.
Like I posted before, the services you need like cell phone, laundry, haircuts, and buying clothing can happen here easily. Finding a cheaper hotel in the old quarter is like flipping a coin. I am staying in one that charges $12 a night long stay. I don’t like Hostels so I never book them. I don’t like sharing or hearing snoring or drunks or a bunch of gab. When I get done with the day of seeing the places I walk to, I want solitude. I have found you can stay just as cheap or perhaps a dollar more or two and get a room with a bathroom. My room has TV and a fridge that works and has AC. AC! Very nice! I use it every night now to sleep better.
Anyways, today I went north and walked longer and saw streets and people and stuff that I had not seen but also got to one of my landmarks the water tower which always tells me how to get back once I find it. Google Maps ain’t a slouch either. Here’s some photographs with my trusty Fuji X series camera. Except for the food picture which is always easier with the iPhone.
Anyways, give it some thought when you plan a trip. Why rush through the itinerary especially retirement beckons. I’ve found Vietnam to be an excellent place to hunker down and enjoy staying longer. You won’t find more friendly people! Today drinking beer, the school let out and I was told Hello by so many school children.
Now I slow down and perhaps drink another beer and watch a movie on youtube. Think about tomorrow and that there are no places and no chores and no projects. No risks and milestones and issues. Its like I waited so long to be done with doing Program Management and when it happened, the main thing that struck me was the freedom from the never-ending webex calls, meetings, emails. Maybe you do something different. But if you are gonna retire, why not do something really different. Consider the slow travel and vagabonding. Become a hobo of the lifeways.