Within moments of walking beyond the confines of Hanoi airport, our senses were arrested and thrown into overdrive.
The air was thick and somewhat grey with pollution, but the warmth of the Vietnamese people and the excitement of vibrant Hanoi lifted the tired “Vietnam Reporter” crew straight into action.
Through the beeping of motorcycles, the chatter of street vendors, the sweetness of tropical fruits, the smokiness of sizzling beef and the beaming smiles of the people, our student reporters from The University of Queensland have been in a state of pure delight ever since.
Our arrival at the Serene Hotel, in Hanoi’s old quarter, was extraordinarily welcoming.
The Vietnamese staff, without exception, have been eager to share their love and knowledge of the thousand-year-old capital, Hanoi.
Our bags had not even settled on the ground, before we were handed freshly squeezed passionfruit juice – after a day in planes and airports, it was a refreshing and revitalizing way to be introduced the city and its people.
We were keen to get our bearings and have a bit of an exploration before feasting.
As dusk fell, the “Vietnam Reporter” crew headed out into the frenetic traffic and crowds.
Although, we know the challenges ahead, there is now a real sense within the group of just how wonderful this opportunity before us is.
In short, it’s about being able to learn about, and engage with a unique and colourful culture that is changing rapidly.
The Vietnamese have been so generous in sharing it with us and hopefully as our journey goes on, we can share every moment of it with you.
Day One amazed; let the next ten expand, create and inspire.