Arrived at hanoi around 8pm and was taken ...

Trip Start Oct 25, 2001
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Monday, December 10, 2001

Arrived at Hanoi around 8pm, and was taken to the centre of town where i checked into a hotel on the outskirts of the Old Quarter for a whopping $15 a night. Although my room is like a palace! Large enough to house a small Vietnamese family. It has a t.v, fridge, climate air con, and a BATH!!!!(with hot water!)
Awoke early to goto Ho Chi Minh's malusoleum. Once i got there, it meant joining a queue that stretched for as far as the eye could see, and entering double file into the heavily gaurded bowels of the monumental edifice that has Ho Chi Minh's body laying peacefully in a glass sarcophagus.
It looked as if he were sleeping.
It had a errie feel to it as everyone silently walked around him in single file.
Luckily (being a Sunday) i managed to find a shop that was willing to change $US travellers cheques. The $100 i changed gave me 1 and half 'Million' Dong in small notes, making it impossible to put the brick sized wad of notes into my wallet!!!!!

In the afternoon i strolled around the Old Quarter of town taking photos of the locals that passed by in their pointed straw hats selling eveything from bread rolls, flowers, to bananas.
Traffic in town has to be seen to be believed...Motorbikes, push bikes, cars, and pedestrians all share the roadside. To cross the road at most points is like playing the 'frogger' game, where you have to walk part way across the road then shuffle around the zooming bikes that come inches from hitting you. Not for the weak hearted!!!!

After being followed around for about 15 minutes by a local lad that was persistant to try and sell me 'another' vietnam book, phrase books, to postcards...He got a little angry once i politeley told him for the 20th time that i didn't want.
He suddenly showed his 'true colours' and started stringing mixture of foul mouthed English words together, then saying "I KILL TRAVELLER, I F***ING HATE TRAVELLER!!"
I smiled and politley said that there was no way i was going to buy any of his books now!.."Bye-bye"
It's funny how one incident like that 'could' easily make you assume that ALL vietmese people have the same 'integrity' as he did, but i like to think that it was just a one off? I'm sure there are a lot of very frienly locals out there.
Time will tell...

Through the hostel, i have arranged a bus to take me to Halong Bay tomorrow morning.

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