I love the hustle and bustle of a growing city, especially in Asia. The noise, the motorcycles, the old buildings that look like they might be falling apart, but still keep some of their beautiful past. I love buildings in Vietnam with their splash of colors and crazy wires everywhere.
Or I did, until I was traveling with kids. Suddenly, the wires are weapons, motorcycles are like a Roman war chariot, the noisy crowd is like bloody murder screams that wake napping children and old buildings are health hazards. Especially with a wandering toddler who is used to having other people avoid her, it’s not easy to maneuver in a city in Asia. You have to remember that you’re visiting and your common sense means nothing regarding safety. I mean, I had some “love taps” from motorcyclists (engine still off) who wanted me to move out of their way. I’m carrying a kid! Not my usual scene in the US or Singapore.
When you travel with young kids, you leave a place to get to a place, there has to be a purpose, we have to figure out where to eat, get there, eat, run back and stay on schedule. When the place we want to go to is not open for whatever reason, we get upset. We have to change our plans, find the next cleanest option available while we still have our snacks to please them. It gets pretty stressful. Especially when you have two toddlers, it isn’t that much fun. Hence, Marc’s lack of interest in Vietnam.
But there is so much beauty in the old buildings, the grungy looking old stalls and a corner cafe where people lazily spend their days. Mila had to be on that leash again and kept very close to me at all times, or be in the Ergo, but she still enjoyed the attention she got, the random toy shops and the occasional snacks. With a one and a half year old, the walk was somehow quite enjoyable. No offence to my perfect husband, who doesn’t always appreciate the ordinary in the same way I do, but my sister and I share similar views on old buildings and the mundane. We found random street corners beautiful and fun. With her, I can just wander, like I used to. There are more smiles with children, an extra nod, and I remember what it is like to enjoy a city without going anywhere ‘special’.
I sincerely enjoyed travelling with just the girls, so sad it will probably be a long long time before we get to do this again. Hopefully someday, it will be us four girls, together, travelling and finding wonders in all corners of the world. Marc, don’t be jealous, but there’s a reason we sometimes need a girls’ night out as much as you need your boys’ time.
We did all the appropriate preparation too, bunch of baby food squeeze tubes, backup restaurant research, reserved taxis. The hotel was super helpful with all that and made sure they recommended a place we could get to easily ; )
So I wandered around with my sister and took pictures. Wish I had a better camera and the skills to use it, but hope you get to enjoy some of it.