Hanoi, glorious Hanoi. A chance to reminisce. A throwback. Or would it have changed beyond all recognition? Flying in for the first time since the mid-1990s there was a part of me that expected me to recount countless tales of “Well, of course it was much nicer back then …” or “Globalisation has ruined this city.” It hadn’t. Far from it. Hanoi still is the place I remember. Wonderful dilapidated French buildings, a colonial whiff among the teeming streets, and the calming influence of the lake. Sure there are more cars now, less conical hats, Coke has replaced Ho Chi Minh as the premier brand, and some modernisation pervades the skyline, but the character of Vietnam’s capital is still so exotic, cultured and colourful. My murmurs of “well in my day …” were muted.
Living in Asia since 2000, Sam Chambers' life as a travel and transport writer keeps him on the road more often than not. His office is a laptop, his desk chair normally seat 36G onboard a CX flight to somewhere in Asia. This blog allows him to muse on some of the stuff he sees and hears out and about. Dalian is the place Sam now calls home.