Final "chao tam biet" to Hanoi

Trip Start Jan 05, 2010
Trip End Jan 25, 2010

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Maison D'hanoi and overnight train to Hue

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

This is our last day in Hanoi! Unfortunately Kym picked up the camera, but not the battery from the charger, so not many photos today. The few we have are from Mike's phone!

After a slow start we ticked off the rest of the Hanoi sights we wanted to see - Ipa-nima handbag shop (for Kym), the Military History Museum (for Mike), the Hanoi Hilton and the old quarter for one final art purchase.

The Military Museum is quite large and has a total of 30 galleries that glorify Northern Vietnam's victorious military past. We tend to think only of the war with the US but of equal importance to the Vietnamese are the wars against France and China. The grounds of the museum have an amazing collection of tanks, fighter planes, canons and other weapons of destruction.

Next stop was the Hanoi Hilton or Hoa Lo Prison. A very chilling place that vividly depicts life for thousands of revolutionaries imprisoned by the nasty French in the early 1900s. Famously the prison was used to incarcerate US pilots caught during the Vietnam War, and pictures from that time depicted healthy, happy pilots who were well treated and well fed. Not sure how anyone could live happily in such a terrible place.

We said goodbye to Hanoi and made our way to the station for an overnight trip to Hue. We were a little anxious about the quality of the train accommodation we had booked... we changed our 4 berth sleeper to a 6 berth sleeper, so we could book all 6 berths. (Eric's stories of 5 Chinese men smoking and playing marjong on a Vietnamese sleeper had prompted us to take out some insurance!!) The train certainly met our expectations - it was a shocker!!

 Girls - the toilet was so bad that Mike took a video. Thank goodness for a good stock of tissues, hand sanitiser and wet ones.  The reason why the toilets are locked at stations becomes obvious once u take a closer look at the tolet hole & the rail track track below it.

We bumped into 2 young aussie couples who were also travelling to Hoi An, and shared a stash of beer, wine and scotch.  They were backpacking on budget, and completely blown away with the totally indulgent concept of buying 6 berths for the 2 of us!! We had a spluge on 70c cans of beers & polished off numerous beers, bottle of wine & some whisky that someone had brought out. We had a great time chatting, drinking and listening to a collection of daggy music courtesy of mike's laptop.

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Michelle Cooper on

I particulary like the 'close up' toilet shot!! Not quite sure what Michael was planning on seeing down the dark hole!!!

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