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Published: March 17th 2018
After my first blog, you'll be happy to hear that day two has been exceptionally better so far. I feel like a strong, independent woman who got a good nights sleep.
Its 5.00PM now and I am taking advantage of this time to write before my journey up to Sa Pa. I've put my trust in the good people here at the Rendezvous Hanoi Hotel to book my overnight train to Lao Cai. That's where I am left to organise transport to Sa Pa - at 6.00AM in the morning...the joys of a 'carefree' traveller!
Jetlag worked its magic and at 6.00AM this morning I woke up feeling ready and hungry. I shared a room with 4 others and somehow 3 had already left - maybe they just couldn't handle it and caught the first plane back home.
It was nice to relax in bed and not hear the constant sounds of scooters beeping at each other. This didn't last of course.
I headed downstairs to enjoy my 'free' breakfast at 7AM which, of course, was Pho
. This time it was chicken and I ate it all (not having dinner helped).
I had the whole day to explore
Hanoi so I needed places to visit. Thankfully I have what I call my 'bible' - Southeast Asia on a shoestring by the Lonely Planet.
Anyone who has seen this knows that I have littered it with notetabs - I couldn't resist!
It mentioned Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and put it on its highly recommended list so I asked the front desk how I should get there to which they replied "Taxi. You should leave now. We will call for you."
Something I have learnt from this experience - Leave when you want to leave.
Long story short, I didn't have time to shower and it'll be a good 20 hours until I can...gross I know.
I left my main bag with the front desk and hoped in the taxi which drove me the 2km to this 'must do' attraction.
I don't like taking transport when I know I could have walked but it was early and the coffee hadn't kicked in yet.
Unfortunately I never got to see the inside of the mausoleum as the line was, dare I say, longer than getting into a JB concert.
I walked around the free sections
and decided to try the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum. I really hoped that not all tourist areas had lines like that.
Thankfully it didn't and it was exactly what I needed - somewhere quiet in both sound and body - something nice to look at - something to culture me.
I was able to spend most of the morning there and I was really impressed with its size and variety of works.
Something this experience has taught me - I like lacquer styled art pieces. Especially the engraved lacquer styles!
After the craziness that was Hanoi, this place was exactly what I needed.
From there I found the Temple of Literature, splashed out and got the audio tour. I can't say that I learnt much, but I had fun so it was worth it.
Instagram has proven its worth when it comes to places to eat and drink. Google reviews are also a great way to confirm that you aren't going somewhere too dodgy.
I found 'Train Road' which has a train track running through it (what a surprise). I took a photo and carried onto my chosen place for lunch.
dish to try in Hanoi is - Bun Cha.
This is barbecued pork with rice vermicelli in soup. I had this with a side of nem cua be
(shallow fried sea-crab spring rolls).
I liked both dishes but my subconscious started stressing about food poisoning. Its a quick way to turn you off food.
From there I walked back to the Hotel and here we are!
Don't worry - not all of my blog posts are going to be this detailed. A good friend told me today, writing stuff down helps with being away from home and being alone.
Its my creative outlet - watch out - I might write a poem one day!
P.S. Thank you to everyone messaging me! It's comforting to know that you are with me spiritually. Feel free to come over and join me! 😊
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