Books, Beers, Bonding and Water Puppets

Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
Trip End Dec 15, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hanoi Rendezvous Hostel

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Monday, April 25, 2011

11:02 I had a wonderful sleep last night on that bloody lovely bed. I've grown accustomed to a small bit of bed and when in the night I moved my hand over to hold the edge of the mattress, which I sometimes do when I sleep, my hand kept going and I thought 'oh yeah!! Big comfy bed! Woo!' and carried on sleeping!

I eventually got out of bed at about 1130, dressed and came downstairs for breakfast as there is an in house cafe down here. They offer free breakfast between 7 and 1030. Yes, you heard free breakfast!! Woohoo! Well I was too late for that. Funny thing is though, both of my phones are insisting that it's not 1130, it's 1030. I ordered my breakfast and sat down and asked a passing staff member what time it was, 1030. I had no idea I'd moved a time zone! Lol. So for breakfast (which I figured was about lunch time) I ordered a chicken baguette, had my free coffee, but she also brought me a plate of water melon, banana and pineapple- so a healthy start to the day!

I think it's time to start taking my malaria pills, which I haven't been looking forward to given the nature of it making you more sensitive to the sun. Those who know me(or even if you don't, you just need to see a picture of my blinding White skin and flaming hair to realise - tan? I do not. So anything that hinders that anymore is NOT cool. I want brown legs dammit! I don't want to be the only person who travelled the world for a year and came back looking like I was actually in prison, or my attic playing(!) the whole time.
Anyway, I'd rather be white than get malaria I suppose so here goes. Time to pop more pills.
12:14 That was so nice, as I was walking along towards the bookshop and saw an interesting looking temple with only one small door open. I approached the door and took my hat off, I didn't go in as I'd read that people get offended if you come in with shorts and hats on, so I waited by the door and an old lady saw me. I asked if I could come in and she welcomed me in, and then I asked if I could take some pictures as the inside of this temple was beautiful. She gestured that I should leave a donation and pray a bit. So having seen the way the chinese pray to the buddha I did the same and popped some money in the box. I had more of a look around and the lady offered me a seat before offering me tea, which I gratefully accepted. Once finished she offered another and we attempted talking (not getting far really), then I went on my way.
17:05 When I got to the bookshop I asked about the hitchhikers guide, and have found a book that contains the four books! Bonus! I also browsed a while and picked up a couple of phrasebooks for Vietnam and Thailand as that is where I plan to spend most of my time. On going downstairs to talk to the owner we chatted a while as I enquired on her and her husnads opinion of me buying a motorbike and riding down Vietnam on my own. Also whilst I was there, there was a girl sitting on the floor who said, we were in the same hostel, and in fact in the bed next to me (I hadn't actually seen her due to me sleeping late!) we got chatting and then had some beer and chocolate cake at the bookshop, before spending the afternoon together. I took my first trip on a Moto - a motorbike taxi, which was an interesting experience to watch as a passenger! (I'll have to take some video next time!). Kelsey, from Iowa (who lives in Siam Reap - so another buddy to meet up with there now :D ) bought a couple of bike bells, then we walked up towards the lake. I bought a ticket for the water puppet show that evening. 

23:06 We went back to the hostel and cooled down, before I ran my motorbiking ideas past family, and might perhaps follow a different idea of trying to find a tour or something of riders
We went for dinner at 69's where I had duck in orange sauce with mashed potato and veg. It was lovely, and I haven't had mash in months! Kelsey left for the the water puppet show and I sat on my own finishing my beer and having a look through my phrase books. 
To my surprise Anna came in and came to sit with me and we chatted and Elly came again, so we all had an impromptu chat and drink, before I had to go off to the water puppet show. 
It was pretty good, very different and I couldn't work out if there was a story, but it was entertaining nonetheless.

pics to follow...

Best: Making a new friend and just taking in Hanoi

Worst: wasn't so keen on the walk home after the puppet show. I went the long way round

Beautiful: the view across the lake

Biggest load on bike: chairs

Most people seen on a scooter: 4! (3 adults one child!)
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Deb on

Oh Zo, I remember going to that water puppet show - good times. I loved Hanoi and all the nice yet still cheap proper restaurants - it must be even better now than where I was there. Remember there being lots of rats everywhere though and also staying in a room with a coffin headstone makers next door and hearing stone being chipped away at all day and night. Ah those were the days! Enjoy x x

Andrew D on

Hi Zoe!

Feels like forever since I commented, so thought I would say howdy! So pleased you're having a great time, and still enjoy reading your blog! We really should try and chat soon, although I kinow you have far better things to do! Perhaps I'll catch you on MSN or something one day. You're always welcome to drop me an e-mail if you have time though!

How is your backpack these days? Is it still stupidly heavy, or did sending lots of your cold weather stuff home help a lot? I bet you have bought plenty of things in all the places you've been to though!

Are you missing Hong Kong now you've left? It sounds like you had such an amazing time there. You know, you've been gone three months already! How are you feeling after all that time? Do you ever get homesick, or are you enjoying yourself so much that you're not really thinking about it all that much?

It's be interesting to hear what your absolute favourite moments and places have been so far on your travels. Also... have you thought about making some kind of video blog as well? You could upload it to YouTube with all your other cool videos of your travels!

Anywho, hopefully I'll chat to you soon! I look forward, as ever, to your next post!

Take care and stay safe.


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