Nothing is open in this place!
Trip Start Oct 22, 2005
224Trip End Ongoing
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Back in Vientiane we checked out the Royal Palace, though you can not go in
We then got a tuk tuk to deliver us to the airport to catch our first Vietnam Air flight to Hanoi. At the airport we tried top get on the earlier flight to Hanoi but no luck. We also tried to get rid of all our small Lao notes, but everything in the airport was too expensive. They did have CNN though so we caught up on what was going on in the world.
After arriving in Hanoi last night we had planned to explore for one day then head to Ha Long Bay. However as we had no room left to take any photos on our memory cards we had to find somewhere to download them
Today we got up early and jumped on the back of a couple of motorbike taxis to take us to the Air Force Museum. Neither of us had actually been on motorbikes before so we held on tight. The trafic in Hanoi is amazing. To cross the road you basically step out and all the motorbikes, pushbikes and cars go around you. If you didn't step out into the traffic you would not get across as there is no gap and they don't bother stopping for zebra crossings or red traffic signals. When we made it to the museum we discovered it had closed in March for a new exhibition but was still not open! The armed guards didn't want us to get off the motorbikes or take any photos so we continued on our way to the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu)
After an hour or so inside we headed to the Army Museum taking in a monument of Lenin along the way. Unfortunetly our bad luck continued and the museum was closed for the day. So we again continued on to the Ho Chi Minh Mauselum. The big Ho is actually having his annual embalming maintence in Russia so we couldn't get a peak, but took a nice photo of the building and decided to do some shopping.
The market that we had been looking forward to visiting was actually really crap. It had lots of clothes made from polester material and little else of interest so we headed back to the hotel to pick up our mail then onto the post office before the international postal desk closed at 4.30pm. This was an interesting experience. First we had to find some cardboard to wrap the stuff in. We wanted to send a painting home so need to protect it in cardboard so it couldn't be bent. To our surprise you can't just ask for an empty cardboard box, no there is a shop that sells the old boxes. Yes, all the other shops sell their old boxes, then this shop sells them on to people like us
We then walked back to the famed Thang Long Water Puppet show. It was interesting to see a puppet show where the puppeteers were behind a black background, standing in water. A different way to entertain with live music and singing all in Vietnamese. Afterwards we met up with Alex, a new friend from Holland we met while waiting for our flight in Vientiane, had a yummy dinner at a resturant called Little Hanoi then headed back to the hotel where Rick tought Meg how to play chess. He may have won this first time but it wont last long!