Hanoi

21 10 2009

Tuesday 20/10/09

Having decided to move omorning from Hoi An Hotel roomn from Hoi An today we awoke for the first time to a clear sky. (relatively speaking) Well, we mused, we’ve really done all we want to do here so we’ll head off anyway. For that we needed some travel arrangements and there is no shortage of people wanting to help. Someone is always trying to sell us something at an inflated price and whether it’s a child peddling a trinket for a few dong, or a market hawker wanting too much for bananas, (did we tell you how amazingly good the bananas taste?) or the hotel trying to sell travel arrangements, everyone wants a piece of the action and our Concierge was no different. It always pays to know your price first. So after some negotiation and refusal on our part, we had our man following us out the door telling us he had just thought of a way he could get the tickets even cheaper but we headed for the airport in Da Nang and got them ourselves on the spot at a much better price.

But back the hotel checkout. With a car due to arrive within a few minutes to drive us to the airport, we proffered the normal plastic only to be told we must pay cash as their “machine it not working”. Now we don’t normally carry a few million around with us and today was no exception so it was a dash out the door for Roger, hire the nearest push bike and head off in morning traffic for the nearest ATM, which was several blocks away. bikeIts been quite a while between peddles – and remember among other challenges, its right hand side of the road, (in a vague sense) but it was executed with style J  – even managing a couple of intersections where, as our friend Robert (from HCMC) pointed out, its like two schools of fish swimming in different directions merging and then sorting themselves out on the other side.

So here we are in Hanoi a city of nearly 4 million people. HanoiWe are staying in one of the dozens of backpackers hotels in the old quarter of the city in quite a clean and comfortable room with aircon, ensuite, breakfast etc for $20 a night. The traffic is just like HCMC only the roads are narrower.

We plan to take the night train for Lao Cai (near the border with China) tomorrow night and from there travel to Sapa up in the mountains.

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2 responses

21 10 2009
Basil & Rosemary

We are enjoying following your travels. You seem to be getting quite familiar with “how to survive in Vietnam”. Love the picture of Roger on the bike!! Blessings… Basil & Rosemary

21 10 2009
Roger and Maree

Hi Basil & Rosemary, actually we are learning as we go and will probably get a bit of a handle on ‘surviving in Vietnam’ by Sunday…just as we head for Laos.
Blessings, Roger and Maree

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