Hanoi – Vietnam

We jumped on a plane to Hanoi, Vietnam and the first we really saw of the place was the border guards: they all ware scary Soviet Uniforms, and I was crapping my self for no good reason when they where checking my documents; they did not think Tom was Tom and kept him for a while longer than me, so I imagine he was really crapping him self.

 

  On the way here in Bangkok airport, I was so tired that when we got to security before boarding our flight, I left everything in my pockets and set of the alarm.  I was taken too one side for inspection on a stool, where I emptied my pockets and starting dropping shit everywhere.  My trousers became wet when I washed my hands a few minutes earlier, and I was to tired to notice until I looked down when he was patting me; he probably thought I had pissed my self hehe, he thought it was funny, but the other guard running around picking up my stuff as I dropped it was not amused.

 

We where immediately hassled by cab PR as soon as we got to the public side of the airport, but know by now not to go with them.  Tom asked a friendly looking chap in a Soviet-esk uniform with a six-shooter at his hip for help… he was very helpful and escorted us to a cab stand, which was behind a group of children who he parted like water i.e. he walked through them.

 

Our cab driver screwed us and did not take us direct to our hotel, he dropped us on some anonymous street and gave Tom directions… we where seriously lost.  The lonely planet map and the roads, did not match up, but after a long time of bumbling around we found our hotel in an unmarked back street.  We got a better map, but it appears that you can’t get an accurate map around here, and it  is very easy to get lost.

 

I witnessed two locals getting hit by traffic within half an hour of getting here… which was a bad sign.  Our own taxi driver hit a pedestrian with his mirror before he dropped us off.  We are getting used to crossing the street here, it is actually quite funny as it feels like swimming.

 

It really feels like India here in a way, mainly because there are no commercial shops, only mom-and-pop stores, which makes it easy to be ripped off.  I havnet been ripped off yet, I just have PTS from India for sure: I was standing outside our hotel waiting for Tom and out of the corner of my eye I saw a slow moving small person; I immediately thought it was a person on a skateboard or a dude with one leg coming to ask for money, which brought back painful memories of Indian beggars wailing and grabbing at me; it was only a little kid though, and I was just having flashbacks from India in the Nam.

 

We decided not to stay here too long as the weather is shit and the scene is non-existent, so on our second day it was action packed as we rushed to see the sights, like the Fine Arts Gallery, which was disappointing as it mainly featured war paintings. We went to a war museum and got to see lots of captured US equipment, a Mig 21 and lots of downed us planes, such as the remains of what I believe a Saber, ooh, ooh and there was a Russian T52 which was awesome.  We also went to Ho Chi Min’s mausoleum but where kicked out of the grounds as they close everything at three here, which was disappointing, but I guess I never wanted to see a dead body preserved anyway.  We got very lost trying to find the train station, and just happened upon all of those museums in our confused state.  Oh and yes a cab driver tried to rip us off Indian style by attemping to charge 50k insead of the 15 on the metre, so I dropped the cash on his lap and we walked away; I guess they expect tourists to be more co-operative when being shafted.

 

 

Tomorrow we are getting on a fifteen hour train to Denang! It should be warm there, and hopefully it won’t be rain as it has been here.

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