The moment I stepped into the plane from Bangkok to Hanoi I read that this was going to be a very different one. You will always tell from the crowd of a plane, what is the temperature of an environment in terms of the people type. It certainly differed from that from London to Bangkok, but the hit of the heat does something to you. It sort of functions as a controller, where the emphasis on things changes, the tempo is suddenly appearing measured and there isn’t a sense of rush.
First moments in Hanoi were surreal. That airport would also turn into a board of travel more than expected.
A contrast in that moemtn would be to the serene lakes and woods of Scandinavia, where dots of scattered light frame a quiet scene with large roads and big empty spaces. It appeared very regulated for some reason, and with the reach of the city center, the exquisite slim tall architecture presented itself, and the boiling center of motorcycles ups its volume until you feel thrown into a jungle of moving metal.
The streets were calling and it kicked off.
The stories that shaped in the 16 days are ones I’d want to to tell and share. Stories that made it on film are gates to elements I am still trying to understand. It’s an interesting process with them all. The reflections aren’t all romantic, but some certainly play to the notion of seeking aesthetics and the intrigue of what is so different, and can be so incredibly beautiful.
The trance of the first days is always particularly interesting, where you can give in for a lot with the frame that it is unknown and it is hard to really assess anything properly. Plenty of people do proper research, and this may lead them many places. The thing about it though, is many may come together to the exact same places. I did scrumreading about Hanoi and Vietnam — it was also impossible to get a guide book in London, which alluded to that it was either extremely popular or not really where it’s happening. But how could it not be interesting, in this time of change — with all the influences and the state of our times where there are all these collisions of old and new world.
This writing comes as a bit of drifting into it, in the same manner as was the planning of the travel. It was this that made it interesting and opened for the things that were not anticipated, and which had a good outcome.
I will let the images speak as the images they are, but I thought it would be interesting to open a drawer, or cast some thought to the first stage of this amazing trip.
Originally published at www.vandersault.com on February 22, 2016.