Published: February 29th 2012February 24th 2012
When we arrived in Hanoi it was early morning and freezing. We were dropped off on the side of a busy road at Sinh Tourists office and as usual the 100 touts all offered us a lift to our hotel for cheap price (5times more than normal). We decided to walk again and crossed the busy road towards our hotel. When we seen the "river view hotel" we knew we were going the wrong way as there was no river near our hotel! Luckily we had only walked 2mins and turned around. We found our hotel a couple of minutes later and waited a few hours until we could check in. It wasnt even cold in Hanoi but 10degrees less than the previous place meant it felt cold. The room at the Hoan Kiem Grand hotel was nice enough and the shower was amazing... Powershower.com. We also had a window in our room and spent time looking out the window at the numerous cats that were fighting for power on the rooftops of Hanoi. We felt like heroes when we scared one massive cat away which was attacking a little ginger one. Even in catworld the gingers get bullied.
the place was nice and also safe even though one night when Ro thought it was funny to lock me out, i just broke in through the window. Wythenshawe for life!
We stayed in Hanoi for 5 days and one of the sights we went to see was Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum which was quite weird. His body is embalmed and looked like he was asleep, although he died 30+ years ago. Nobody spoke in the mausoleum, cameras and phones werent allowed and the visit lasted about 10mins. After the mausoleum we visited the "house on stilts" which is where he used to live. It was like Ronsil exactly what it said on the tin, a house on stilts. It overlooked a huge lake with goldfish that had again been on steroids.
Another place we visited was the "Hanoi Hilton" which is an old prison nicknamed that by the American prisoners held there. It was now a musuem showing conditions for the Americans which were luxury compared to the Vietnamese held there in the previous war with the French.
The food in Hanoi was once again very good like all of Vietnam. We ate at a place
called Ladybird and also Newday 3 times which was cheap and really nice. Wherever we went Rosara could always smell corn. Most nights after our food we would go to a place called beer corner which was a crossroads with two small windows on opposite sides of the road. These both sold Bia Hoi (local draft beer) for 5000Dong (15p) which was very very decent! At beer corner hundreds of people sat on little stools, got pissed and watched the world go by. It was a really good place to meet other people of all nationalities and have a drunken chat. Every now and again the police would drive past and beer corner must of been technically illegal as we had to jump up, tidy the stools away and wait for them to dissappear before carrying on. Fuck the police haha! One night while we were here we got speaking to a group of old Norwegians and one of them offered us $20 to our travel fund which we politely declined. 10minutes later he offered us $100! We had to say no again but all night wondered if we should of just taken it and ran! Also at beer corner
every night was a crazy Vietnamese women in red hotpants with massive feet that didnt fit her shoes. She had an ipod which had the best battery ever because it was on all night every night! She would just stand about on her own, do the worlds weirdest dance, laugh at nothing or ask blokes for stuff. We thought she was a Prossie but she might not of been. Every night she had the same red lacoste hotpants on but some nights she spiced it up with red tights then on our final night I spotted her walking about with a green dress on because the lacoste must of been in the wash. Probably not though..
Our hotel was in the middle of the Old Quarter which had all the markets and old shops. We changed money in one particular shop we heard of and were ushered upstairs to the dodgiest place ever. You told them how much you wanted in one currency and given a ticket of how much you needed to pay in the other. People were swapping millions of dollars and dong and our 100dollar bill made us feel like peasants. Still we had a Benjamin
Oh, let us get to the reason we needed the dollars in the first place... On our first day we decided we would go to the Thai embassy in order to sort our visa out early for Thailand. We walked miles to the embassy and had plenty of money, we even had Thai baht incase they took Thai currency, there own currency! We got there and were told they couldnt use my passport as a photo unlike all the other embassies and also that we would need to pay in dollars. We were told we could get a photo done near the mausoleum so we decided we would get the photo, go back to the embassy then go back to the mausoleum for the tour. We walked for miles and got the photo done but couldnt get any dollars anywhere! We went back to the embassy to explain but were told we could only use dollars and that we should come back tomorrow when we have them. We walked all the way back to the mausoleum to find it was closed in the afternoon haha! We decided to call today a total failure and waste of a day.
Went to bed and start again tomorrow.
There are more photos below