KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
After the heat in Hoi An, it was quite an adjustment to fly into Hanoi and see everyone in puffy jackets, woolen sweaters and leather gloves. Everyone except for the foreign tourists. We saw several pass by our hotel in shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops looking dejected and definitely underdressed. We were happy we only had one night to dress warmly and knew that we were heading back to 34 C once we arrived in Bangkok.
Most people don't realize just what a long, narrow country Vietnam is. From north to south, it is as long as the western coast of the United States. Near Danang, on the central coast of Vietnam, the mountains jut out to the sea and cause very different weather conditions in the north of the country. Northern Vietnam has four distinct season (spring, summer, autumn and winter) while Southern Vietnam has only two seasons (dry season and rainy season). This explains why Hoi An, which is 30km south of Danang enjoys warm, sunny days in January when Hanoi is cold, damp and windy.
As we drove to the Hanoi airport after breakfast, we were reminded that Tet, the Lunar New Year holiday was just around the corner. This Tet, the beginning of the Year of the Rat, will be celebrated on January 31st. We could see a few people starting to deliver the flowering shrubs and kumquat trees that decorate all homes and businesses as a symbol of prosperity. One day we will have to plan our visit to Vietnam so that we are able to participate in the festivities instead of leaving just as things are gearing up. Here we go, planning on coming back just as we are leaving again. Some things never change.