Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
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by Cynthia Fazekas
We arrived in Hanoi at around noon on Saturday 9/14 after meeting up at the Taipei airport. Once through immigration and baggage claim, we found our driver for the short trip to our hotel.

First impressions of Hanoi are that it is hot, bustling with activity, and certainly has its own character. Motor scooters within inches, horns beeping, street vendors by the score.

We eat, meet some of the others here for the Masters Cup, and take a much needed nap after roughly 22 hours of travel, about 8,300 miles from home.

Later a small plush buffalo wakes me (I'll explain later), and we get going to take care of getting cash, extra water, and take an evening stroll to the Old Quarter by the Hoan Kiem Lake. Nearly every street is vibrant with lantern, lights, tourists, street vendors, small shops, and motor vehicles.

Hanoi has an antiquated feel with pops of modernity, such as a bright blue police box of Doctor Who fame perched on a building near our hotel.

Dinner consists of several dishes nicely prepared, most with fresh vegetables. We meet another of our group and look forward to the events of tomorrow.
Cynthia Fazekas
She began her tea career with Special Teas in 1999, handling varying roles in the fledgling company, including customer service, operations, office and sales management, and tea tasting. Her evolving responsibilities grew to include blending and QC not only for Special Teas, but also for its eventual sister company Teavana in the pre-Starbucks days.

She joined Adagio Teas in 2007 as a wholesale sales manager and currently also has the responsibilities of tea buyer and master blender for this industry pioneer. Her continuing tenure with Adagio has enabled her to deepen her passion for specialty tea with trips to origin and exploring tea trends worldwide.