I arrived at Hanoi’s Noi Ba airport last night around 9:45 pm. Customs, visa fee ($45 U.S.), mild weather, roughly 25 miles from downtown, a 45-minute drive. No freeways, and I like it like that. My Vidotour guide is a young married woman named Hang Nguyen, who lives south of town and gets around (like almost everyone else here except the elite) on a scooter. The Vietnamese have this wonderful idea about nighttime — they actually leave it alone and don’t try to obscure it with obnoxious floodings of electric light on every street corner. The half-Mexico, half-south of France atmosphere that I first commented upon last year is, of course, unchanged. I checked into room #909 inside the Hilton Garden Inn (20 Phan Chu Trinh, Hoan Kiem District). These were taken around 7:30 this morning.