Days 1, 2 and 3. London to Hanoi

May 4, 2013 - Hanoi, Vietnam

Got up early Thursday morning to head to the airport. I finished packing my rucksack, loaded it in the car, Sanjay got in, turned the key and... The battery was dead. Argh!

A swift car change later (thanks to Sanjay's sister) and we're on the road. After a very teary (on my part) goodbye, Rach and I set off. Woohoo!

 

It's an 18 hour flight, changing at Kuala Lumpa, where we land in the middle of a storm. The lightning is so close we can see the bolts dropping from the clouds through the plane window. Cool! We didn't arrive in Hanoi until 13:00 local time on the Friday. We got our visas (first cool stamp in the passport) and found Jules and our driver.

 

The hostel is more like a B&B. We've got our own room, en suite and breakfast for £5 a night. Bargain! We all decide to head straight out and explore.

Man, this place is crazy! Pretty much everyone rides a moped. The family car doesn't exist and you'll see families of four, complete with newly born baby, crammed onto one moped. One guy has his mate behind him, wearing a massive rug over his head because he doesn't know what else to do with it. Another driver is steering with one hand and carrying five garden chairs in the other, and then there's the bloke balancing a ladder on his bike. Class.

Crossing the road is a hairy experience. No one stops for traffic lights or roundabouts. The rule (for pedestrians and vehicles) is keep moving, dodge if you need to, but never stop. Oh, and beep ALL the time. So you'll have 5 mopeds in a row coming at you across the first lane, and maybe three mopeds and a bus in the next. The buses stop in the middle of the road and the passengers get out into the traffic. These people have no fear.

We had a meal on the first night, sat on the balcony of cafe, serenely watching the chaos below. Starters, mains and 2 beers each set us back 80 000 dong each, that's about £2.70! And man it was good.

Then it was back to the hostel and I crashed out by about 8pm. 14 hours later, Jules woke us up banging on the door for breakfast.

Today, we've been to the war museum. The highlight was a shot down US fighter jet that they'd reconstructed the way they'd found it- nose down and crumpled.

We walked around the lake, checked out the temple and bartered in a shop for a sun hat. Saved myself 30 000 dong (£1) woohoo!

Finally, we visited a famous water puppet show which you'll only see in Hanoi and just what you'd expect. Puppets in a pool.

 

Tomorrow is the last day in Hanoi and then we're off on our Halong Bay boat trip. Looking forward to some peace and quiet!

 

Next post might include some photos!

 

 

 


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Pictures

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1 Comment

gina:
May 5, 2013
Fab first start, stay safe keep the updates coming when you can! Have FUN xx
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