Just returned to Hanoi from Halong Bay and Cat Ba Island and it’s a different city entirely now that Tet is over. All the stores are open: the lights are on, the city brighter. Bustling. We’ll be back but in a few hours we hop a train to Sapa, up in the hills, for a few days of trekking.

Halong was very nice. We did some kayaking and karaoke and got to know some other travelers, including Edvar and Danielle from Holland, who are probably reading this right now. Edvar is (was — they’re on a world trip too) a website designer and I promised to steal liberally from his blog. And I meant it. So we may be doing a little on-the-fly re-design ’round these parts. Thanks in advance, Edvar.

More later. We still have lots to write about Thailand and Laos, and now Vietnam, especially the Halong and Sapa sagas — including an amusing anecdote about the ladies who rowed behind our junk hawking Pringles and vodka … and a rundown of the circumstances that led to stirring renditions of “Dancing Queen” and “Le Freak” by a rice wine-besodden barful of tourists.

Yes, we’re getting a little behind here. Also photos: we have lots of photos to upload. As soon as we have time to breathe again we’ll get down to some serious bloggin’. I’m getting excited just thinking about it.