Passport Application Finally in for Processing

Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
Trip End Jan 31, 2012

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Where I stayed
Hanoi Renezvous Hotel

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 10 - Military Museum, Citadel, Loop back to Northern end of Old Quarter
Decided to do something again today beside hanging out at the hostel. Had passed by the military museum on my second day in Hanoi and decided to go back for a visit. walked through the government area which had a few interesting buildings and lots of soldiers on guard duty.

Wandered into the museum and found that the flag tower I had seen weeks earlier was part of the grounds. Museum was spread over a number of building ranging from primitive warefare to more modern warefare.
Inside found that the more modern warefare displays included displays on the vietnam war. Lots of guns and mines as well as photos though little explanation in english. Even found a model showing the tunnels used in the vietnam war.

Outside found a number of tanks and artillary units as well as lots of different planes. This included both american and russian planes. While outside also climbed up the flag tower which gave a nice view of the surrounding city. Lots of green in the immediate surrounding area and not a lot of very tall buildings.
 In the distance could also see another old building which I decided to go and investigate.

Seems that the building I saw from the flag tower was the citadel. Found lots of students wandering around outside in traditional dress. The citadel itself had a couple of interesting buildings but as a whole wasnt much to go see when I compare it to the earlier citadels I visited.

From the citadel wandered around the nearby streets and looped back round near west lake towards the old quarter. Along the way found an interesting church and tower that was part of the orginal citadel. Also stopped off for a nice mango juice as well as finding a bakery that had some nice and tasty pizzas.
along the way saw lots of soldiers hanging outside of the building I was wandering past.

Once again made my way through the old quarter but managed to find a few new streets, one of which had some markets lining the side of the street. Lots of fresh produce to be found here.

Before making it back to the hostel stopped off at a restuarant for dinner. Again didnt do much that evening

Day 11 - Botanic Garden, West Lake near Tay Ho
Decided to get out of the hostel today. Walked the streets towards th botanic gardens after lunch where I found a something that resembled a small park rather than a botanic garden. To be fair though some of the trees did have signs on them.

Ended up walking around the gardens for a bit which was nice enough before sitting by the lake to read my book for a while to pass the time. After a couple of hours or so headed back out to the street and caught a moto to the Tay Ho area near the yoga place I was going to visit that night. Was still one hour early so wandered the nearby streets of the area and along the lake shore to pass the time.

Seems that there are a lot of westeners living in the area. Guessing that its a popular foriegn residence area given the number of english looking restuarants,people walking and families out on the streets. also Seems to be a pretty rich part of town given the size and style of the buildings in the area.

Had some nice views down by the lake with the sun reaching near the hoorizon. Always surprising how high the sun seems to be in the sky when it sets compared to when at home. That is when the light around me turns to twighlight and the sun starts going red. Not sure if this has to do with the latitude Im at or the amount of polution in the air. Maybe both.

After an hour or so headed to the yoga studio to do a class which I enjoyed. Found it a bit expensive though. At $12 a class its about the same as at home (maybe a bit cheaper) which means for vietnam it was damn expensive. Should really have been half the price. Good to do though since while I get plenty of exercise its nice to do something thats aimed at training the body

Day 12 - Not Much
Didnt do to much today. Had downloaded the game assassins creed a few days earlier so spent some time playing  this. Also spent a bit of time watching videos and reading. Only time I really headed out was to eat. Once for lunch and once for dinner.

Did wander the streets for a bit today though and found a nice sweet and sour crispy pork (bit like bacon) meal which I enjoyed. Had also considered doing the wing chun class again but was feeling a bit sore from the yoga class so decided against it in the end.

Day 13 - Not Much Again
Once again didnt do to much today. Had downloaded the game assassins creed a few days earlier so spent some time playing  this. Also spent a bit of time watching videos and reading. Only time I really headed out was to eat. Once for lunch and once for dinner.

Did manage to finally sort out my enrolment for uni next year. Given its been reactivate I think I will take the first 6 months of next year off to finish my bachelors unless there is a really good job in th paper early next year. If nothing else this will give me something to do while looking for a new job when I get back and time to process all the photos I took during my trip.

Day 14 - Failed Passport Application Attempt
Using the online DHL parcel tracking I could see that my package was getting closer. Had seen before going to bed the previous night that my passport stuff was in Singapore. Upon looking first thing in the morning found that it had gotten closer and was in Bangkok and then after breakfast in Hanoi. Watched as it was sorted, processed and finally dispatched around lunch time.

Again didnt do much today as I sat in the hostel and watched my package. Headed out for lunch and upon getting back found that the location of the package was the delivery truck. Mentioned I was waiting for a package to receptionist and 20min or so later the package arrived. Checked it out quickly and it looked OK.

Headed to the embassy straight away to put my application in. Unfortunately had a number of problems at this point. Firstly the printed scanned photo may or may not have been good enough for the passport. Thankfully I could use one of the originals for the faceup photo so it was all good in the end. Got me thinking thought that if I had stuck the photos on the application before arriving how would they really know that the photo that had been endorsed had my face on the other side.

Second problem was my ID documents. Seems the Proof of age card is not comparable to a driver license since it doesnt have an expiry date and so beside my credit card I also needed the medicard as Id (could be taken into passport office in Oz). Also the bills I had were no good since they had to be less than a couple of months old. Since I havent been home in a while getting something newer would be a problem but thankfully could sign a declaration about my current address.

Third problem was the endorsment page was wrong. Seems my endorser made a mistake on the form with my name and his being in the wrong spots.  Also a part of the scan had missed the far right of the barcode so sonce it had to be redone anyway had them scan the page for me just to make sure that this to wouldnt end up causing me problems.

Quickly headed back to the hostel since it was getting later in the day and adelaide is about 3.5hrs ahead of Hanoi at the moment with daylight savings time. Couldnt get my brother at home but managed to get him on the mobile while he was shopping. Thankfully he was willing to head out that night to get the form redone and take the form and medicare care card into the passport office the next day. Am certainly happy the stuff arrived thursday and not Friday else I would have been stuck yet another weekend in Hanoi.

After having sorted all that out headed out for dinner and didnt do much else. One more day and hopefully my passport application would be in. Definately a good thing I hadnt decided to book the bus before taking my application in.

Day 15 - Passport Application Finally In and Im off South
Brother wasnt able to get the paper work in until lunch which luckily wasnt a problem for me given the 3.5hr time difference . For me that meant that it would be in 9:30am and so was able to visit the embassy first thing in the morning. Thankfully this time the application went in without any problems and I was told it would be 10 working days to get processed which seemed to me to be a very long time. Would know when to pick it up via an email.

Back at the hostel also decided to get my ANZ replacement card sent to the hostel since I had time to kill and the card would arrive around the same time as my passport. Unlike the current debit card I have (with lost pin number letter) this one would have the pin sent with it so I would be able to use it in an ATM.

Since it was still before checkout time decided to check out and try to book a bus south to Nha Trang. Managed to get a seat on this bus so at least I wouldnt be stuck another day in Hanoi.

Killed the rest of the day in the hostel with the excpetion of my mealtime walk and then waited for my bus south which was your typical sleeper bus.

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