Today Lily and I went into town again, to have a look around Ben Thanh market and the nearby Fine Arts Museum. We also arranged transport for Lily's trip across Vietnam, which she plans to do at the start of February and which I will accompany her for for part. As it will be in the run up to Tet, the lunar new year and Vietnam's largest holiday, all of the trains she had planned to take were fully booked, so we had to book places on tourist buses instead, which will at least be a lot cheaper. Lily plans to spend two days in the beautiful ancient town of Hoi An in Central Vietnam, one in Hue, the former imperial capital, and then make her way to the Northern capital of Hanoi and visit Halong Bay before flying back to Saigon. I will accompany her as far as Hue and then take a mammoth 28 hour bus journey back to Saigon, a decision I made rather last-minute and which I hope I won't come to regret!
Very shortly we will be setting off for our flight to Bangkok. Over tea I contemplated to Lily how little time two weeks now feels to me, as I am so used to setting off for trips of such a length by now. It reminds me how incredibly lucky I am to have the opportunity to travel so much. It also made me think how quickly this year will pass- in fact half has already gone! Although right now it feels like I've spent such a long time away from home, I've got the feeling that when I get home I'll feel that my time in Vietnam has gone faster than I've been able to take it all in by.