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A trip to Vietnam: sightseeing and discovering

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Written by: Nick CHEN
Photo by:Nick CHEN
Edited by:James Campion |  Date:2017/03/0475 Hits

Taking a family trip abroad has always been welcome to me, but when it comes to spending the Spring Festival, the Chinese lunar New Year, in Vietnam, it appears quite new to me. Anyway, that’s how the story goes and I take it as giving myself a break and at the same time, trying a new way to celebrate this millennia-old festival.

 

   Once I stepped across the border to this neighboring country, with “millions of” the local cash in my pocket, I started to feel the difference. It’s true that they share a much similar civilization with us though – they observe the Spring Festival as well; the way they speak, however, differs greatly. Ads, signs, coverings of the small gifts we buy were all printed with the Roman alphabet and accent marks that show tones. They looked very similar to English but didn’t make a sense to me. Besides, the houses alongside the straight north-south road, with bright red national flags at each of the doors, were “narrow”: just 2-3 meters long in breath and they were in of some kind of French style. The colonial impact on the culture also shows in the church we dropped by. The marvelous sculptures and the towering spire colored the surroundings with French romance.

 

Inside the church

 

On top of all the western aspects, there are still some very distinguishable treasures of Vietnam to explore, and somehow to taste, just like the intensive aroma of coffee in the air. When I arrived in downtown Hanoi, the capital city, what came into my eyes were the busy streets crisscrossing in dense buildings. Notably, there were a great number of motorcycles, flowing or parking in the crowded alleys, like schools of fish. It is indeed a lustrous and dazzling view to look at.

 

All sorts of occupations Street

 

Wandering these alleys, I had a sense of the place I'm at, by which I mean I started to feel like a Vietnamese instead of a Chinese. I started to have an affection for the fresh rice noodles, to be familiar with the Bixa orellana by the main street, and to know the language. I'm not perceiving the world in the same old stereotype. I'm not saying that I relinquish my heritage, but one thing is certain that there are different ways of thinking and living. That's why I believe that the very point of traveling is to open you mind and be a changeable man. Admittedly, Chinese style is intriguing, yet it is limited, thus one has to seek new things, just like a cocktail needs various wine types. From this very perspective, touring is not about visiting some world-famous landmarks and excessively commercial spots. What matters is to immerse into the locals, to experience, to roam around the communities. There is much to discover.

 

Pedlers sell seafood by the boats

 

Just like more people nowadays are going out for fun on the Spring Festival, we feel good trying something new. In many ways, if we are willing to bridge ourselves and other parts of the world, to learn, to appreciate, what a wonderful world it will be!