Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam, five million inhabitants in the city and two million on the outskirts. It’s a crazy place with no rules on the roads, street traders, peddlers and everyone with someone to see, somehere to go and something to do.
Now imagine modernising the city, add a further three million people, better shops, hotels, tansport, beautiful buildings like you find in London, Paris and New York … oh and five million motor bikes and you end up with Ho Chi Minh City.
Now if you think the madness of crossing the roads is crazy in Hanoi .. then imagine my surprise to find that the motorbikes mount the pavements too! There are way more cars here than in Hanoi, more taxis and definitely more wealth with all the major brands here in the commercial capital of Vietnam.
There are many five star hotels, an opera house and many shopping centres and department stores.
Downtown there is a very large market bustling with trade of all types. From the live fish ready to be butchered in front of you, fresh vegetables and fruits you’ve never seen before and the ‘original fakes’ like bags and watches.
This is a cosmopolitan city where cultures and foreigners meet. In the evenings besides one of many restaurants some descend on the Saigon Opera House to see one of many shows like the excellent Teh Dar.
You can imagine the cast’s surprise to meet my wife!