Hanoi – Day One

Today we flew to Hanoi at 8am, a short 2 hour flight. Upon arrival we immediately felt safer and more excited about vietnam’s potential. On the plan we met Jesus (Ronny), a man that fell from heaven to save our holiday. He was really nice to us and was really annoyed to hear our story about being robbed. He lived and worked in Saigon and was travelling to Hanoi on business. He kindly offered for us to go with him in the taxi that his worked paid for (score!) because unbeknownst to us the main city was 1 hour away (not the best map work by Daniel). When we got in the cab we talked and looked out the window and the city grew as we approached. Hanoi had half the population of Saigon (thank you to the in flight video for that piece of information). We straight away loved it. Ronnie drop us close to some hotels, in the heaviest rain we had ever seen.

We packed our freshly bought backpacks on the road side and began walking in the rain, aimlessly that is. Like true tourists we had no clue, it was a new city and we needed a hotel. After finding ponchos and a map we walked towards the major lake and landmark of the old town. We found a hotel after being heckled by 3 people in the street about their hotel being better and cheaper, we made our decision and shacked up to get dry. We found another trend of Vietnam – westerners only getting the fourth floor with no elevators, happy hiking 🙂

After this we were starving so we decided to get some food and do some shopping. Finding food was difficult so it turned into a shop that hopefully landed some food along the way. Finally we ended up eating on a street corner in the rain, while a lady whipped up some traditional Viet craze of a taco like thing made of batter, filled with baby shrimp and some black stuff (unknown) with fresh spring rolls. All up we paid 35 000VND ($1.75). After this was a lot more walking and we eventually stumbled across Kelly’s all time dream of a water puppet show. Her eyes lit up and she was in love (again). She demanded a booking, one that she would later regret.

Before the show we stumbled on Snack Bar, close to home, which became our watering hole for the next few days, serving us $2 cocktails and really nice people, this night club was seriously pumping at 5:00pm, with us and a classy bartender filling the room.

The water puppet show held our attention…..it was interesting…..and beautiful…..for about 3 minutes, before Kelly and I began the more funnier task of laughing at this whole bizarre phenomenon. it was quite funny but traditionally cute for asian theatre, it told a story…in vietnamese, in which we are only partially fluent, making the whole spectacle a little hard to follow.

After this we had dinner at a restaurant whos chefs formally graduated from a cooking school that takes youths off the street and gives them an improved pathway. It was lovely meal of spring rolls, beef soup, mixed noodles and Sapa pork. It was cheap and delicious and afterwards we went back to snack bar for some pool and cocktails before bed.

Hanoi – Day One, a set on Flickr.