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Published: January 9th 2014
After a 4am wake up call we left the Limetree in their car (MYR46 for the 4 of us to the airport) with a packed breakfast which sadly didn't live up to the standard set there so far.
Kuching to Kuala Lumper was quick and easy. The stopover in KL meant Starbucks for Nic, Tasha and Sonia and after a slight delay, we were on to Hanoi.
On arrival at Hanoi airport we completed the applications for visas and handed across the letter sent by Steven from AsiaEyes along with passport sized photos and our passports. The applications were processed immediately. We waited mere moments then were asked for the USD45 for each visa in cash. Unfortunately I had forgotten that part of the process. Wayne asked for an ATM and the officials gestured to the empty room behind him. No ATM but if one person paid the visa fee, they can go through arrivals get the cash and return. When we started to look through our wallets and they noticed cash, the immigration officials helped us with the AUD, MYR and SGD we had, to scrounge together the payment. These guys often get a bad wrap with allegations
of corruption and long waits but our experience was efficient, friendly and they even handed back a few notes that we thought they would need, so they must have used a fairly generous exchange rate.
On exiting, Long was waiting with a sign "Sonia Megan Bertram" so he assumed as I introduced myself as Sonia that Tasha must be Megan and Wayne was Bertram. We went straight to a nice van where our driver Anh took us to the AsiaEyes office. I met with Steven (the guy we we organised our package with) then, on to Boss Hotel. Wayne and I went for a walk around the lake with Long to try and find a bank, but with no luck. Wayne, Tash and I had a look through some of the shops that were close by and bought some tights to ward off the cold. None of the jackets would have fit, but luckily Nicky J had packed a jumper for Tasha (Best. Brother. Ever.
Around 5.30 Long met us in the foyer as he had organised a cyclo tour of the Old Quarter. This was a particularly uncomfortable experience for two reasons; I felt awkward having someone
pedal my fat butt around, but also the traffic in Hanoi is INSANE. The cyclo tour finished at a restaurant where we had jellyfish and mango salad followed by a huge feast. Long had organised for the restuarant to call a taxi so when we were done, we headed straight back to the Boss Hotel and to bed.
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