Vietnam Bound

Trip Start Sep 16, 2012
Trip End Oct 08, 2012

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hanoi elegance diamond

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Thursday, September 20, 2012

Excited about our trip to Vietnam today, we checked out of Siam@Siam around 8:30am & got a taxi to the airport, check in for our Vietnam Airlines flight VN610 to Hanoi with out a problem. I had booked our whole trip via the internet so i was a little anxious how everything would fall into place. Our flight left on time for a short 1.5Hr flight to Hanoi & we landed around 2pm, we had organised our Visa on arrival letter thru our Hotel & had all the documents ready & $50usd. Bussed from the plane to arrival hall at Nai Bai airport, walked in & approached the counter that said Visa on Arrival but you have go to the other end of the booth, hand in your passports & documentation, then go back & wait at the other end until they attempt to say your name & hold up your passport, then you hand over your 50usd & move on.

That done, went thru immigration no problem & followed all the other passengers to Carousel 1A, everyone was watching bags on the carousel but no-one was picking up any luggage. I heard an announcement with VN610 on it & carousel 1B, so i asked a worker where 1b was & was directed over to another area. Just as we reached the carousel, the carousel stopped as all the bags were on there. Found our bags, no-one was on duty at customs so just walked thru, apparently everyone else was still waiting at 1A haha. Our hotel rep was there to greet us, which was a relief & headed to our Hotel.

Check in was fine & we were given a free upgrade from Hanoi Elegance Diamond to a family room, Hanoi Elegance Diamond is located in Lo Su St in the old Qtr & came highly recommended from Trip advisor people. Welcome drink & given maps & business cards of the area. Went up to our room & asked the motel to organise a cyclo tour of the old qtr, now that was a sensory overload, didn't know which way to look. Cyclo guy stopped at an ATM for me & i withdrew 2,000,000 dong with the ever reliable 28deg card, going to take awhile to get use to the money. There are no road rules, no need to stop at red lights or crossings, travelling up a one way St the wrong way is ok as well. Crazy stuff. Tour was fun & an eye opener, cost for an hours tour was 300,000 Dong ($15).

Grabbed some supplies from a little shop next door, beers were about $0.70 each, starting to like it here :).

Hanoi Elegance Diamond has a restaraunt on the top Flr (12th) Gourmet Corner, it also has the Terrace bar so around 630pm we went up for a few beers & dinner. Great view of Hoan Kiem Lake & red river delta. We shared some Vietnam Spring rolls & garlic bread for starters, Di had Lamb Chops for main & i had beef & coriander cooked in a bamboo tube, some beers & it cost $36. Food was good. So that was our first day in Hanoi done, it was a sensory overload.

We have been told that this is the best time to travel in the Nth of Vietnam as it's Autumn, we noticed that although it was still hot (30c) there was a bit of breeze that was nice. Very smoggy though.

Thats all for today, stay safe.

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