Something about Hanoi

Trip Start Mar 09, 2008
Trip End Dec 10, 2008

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Hello Vietnam

Flag of Vietnam  , Hanoi,
Saturday, April 5, 2008

Tuesday April 29th 2008  (plus Kylie's 2 cents again :)
Actual day in Hanoi, April 4th.
Now lets talk a little about Vietnam. (baby, let's talk about you and me, let's talk about all the good things and the bad things, that may beeeee...let's talk about Vietnam!!!)
            Hanoi was our first stop, and we may have already said this, but it needs to be said again !  Hanoi was and is CRAZY !!  It was just a mass of people and scooters, everyone here calls them moto's but, we back home would consider the bikes they drive to be scooters. (and they honk their flippin horns continuously!!! It's actually stressful walking down the street) Anyways, it was a miracle not one of us got hit by one in the couple days we were there.  Absolutely INSANE!!  We stayed at a nice Guest House Kylie found on the internet called "Hello Vietnam",(free wireless, free breaky, nice bed and duvet, and a BATHTUB!!) but it also had another couple names. How confusing!  Everything here seems to have a few names, no wonder no one knows what you are looking for when you ask directions, we still haven't figured that out.  We had a comforter for the first time since home and air conditioning, quite a luxury after being in the heat of Laos for the last couple of weeks. (when we got to Hanoi we went out for dinner at a little street side restaurant, mostly all locals were there. The funniest thing was everyone sits on little plastic kindergarten chairs at itty bitty tables! We had our knees to our necks the whole time! The food was tastey too!!) Jorge, Gonthello (some people we were travelling with from Spain) and I went out to the bar one night and it wasn't the greatest thing in the world, small clubs and nothing really going on, (that's because the girls stayed home!!) everything had to close its doors at 12 due to some past transgretion that no one seemed to remember what it was, but things keep on inside until about 2, but I was home and safe just after 12. (Yes I had to unlock the door in the middle of the night to let the party boy in!!!)
            We took a trip around a central lake in the Hanoi's old town in a rickshaw, and got it all on video, it kinda shows the amount of traffic on an average day. (sorry it's a bit long and seems to have Keir making small talk to our driver who knew very little or perhaps NO english, and a couple bad words on my part!)  Kylie and I both agreed that even though we were directly in the line of fire so to speak, we both felt safer. (But it was still a bit freaky!)
            Water Puppet shows are famous in Vietnam (although neither of us had heard of one) and the water puppet show in Hanoi was a site to behold, really spectacular !!  From what we have been told it originated in the Northern Vietnamese country side more then 1000 years ago, where they would use the water from the rice paddies. Very cool ! (we got front row, center seats too!! We were told we might get splashed but we didn't :)
            We went to a neat market near our hostel it search of pants, because the weather in Hanoi at the time was quite chilly, around 20 to 25 C.  None could be found except for jeans, that would have been much to small, we are giants here!! (I think one of Keir's legs would have been the size of the waist! I didn't even bother looking for me...lost cause, they are the size of 8 year olds!!!) They did sell all sorts of fabric, every kind you could imagine, as big an area as FabricLand times five. (awesome stuff!!)  I did buy a pair of sunglasses, since my other ones mysteriously dissappeared in Vientienne ($5).
            From Hanoi we got a tour to Halong Bay from a tour franchaise call Sinh Cafe, $55 each (for 3 days and 2 nights), and then the open bus ticket to Saigon for the same amount.  The open ticket is the way to go, we can get on and off the bus at  four differnt spots on the way south, Hue, Hoi An, and Nha Trang then to Saigon.  It was called a sleeper bus but really you do not get much sleep.(the drivers were crazy, and you are in a little bed the size of a coffin for 8-14 hours)  We will put a picture, because it was cool. (ish)
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