Whatever can go wrong...

Trip Start Oct 10, 2008
Trip End Oct 27, 2008

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Where I stayed
The Ritz Hotel

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Thursday, October 16, 2008

Well, our flight from HCMC to Hanoi got cancelled. They could get us on a flight leaving in 20 minutes, but when we were asked for our passports,we realized the sleepy hotel staff hadn't given them back this morning....argh! Next flight not until the afternoon. The brought us the passports at the airport, then we had 4 hours to kill.

So, we went back into town to the Vietnam History Museum. It gave us a nice overview and had some interesting exhibits...and some odd. They had a room of Buddhist statues from SE Asia and showed pictures of temples in surrounding countries, but none from Vietnam...odd...then we saw that the US Ambassador was bankrolling the exhibit. Interesting and strange.

We still had plenty of time, so we hopped a cab for the Hotel Intercontinental....an old landmark that has been refurbished...much to the chagrin of oldtimers. They think they've rehabbed the charm out of it. But, it's still pretty charming. We do a late (9am) breakfast on the veranda overlooking a busy street. Joe has a chinese wonton soup that is marvelous and I go for the omelette.

Then it's back in a cab to the airport. A few words about HCMC traffic: OMG...ok that was a few letters, but really! It's stunning. Wall to wall motorcycles with a few taxis and buses squeezed in between. The fashionable VN woman wears opera length gloves on her moto to keep her skin fair. She also wears flesh colored socks with her sandals. And she often wears a sweatshirt even when I'm sweating! Can't figure that one out. More understandably is the mouth filter...which reminds me, I need to get some eye drops!

Today we saw I guy with a huge computer printer strapped to the back of his moto...yesterday a guy driving with another guy facing backwards holding a huge wooden drum painted red! Almost as good as the 8' ladder.

Well, the train tickets for Sapa just got delivered. So we are off to explore the old quarter of Hanoi. More later.....
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