Wednesday, January 14, 2009


So now we are in Hanoi!
A VERY different city from Beijing but I like it here!
Although the first night we got here we had a very scary experience! We took a late flight to Noi Bai airport (outside of Hanoi) and had read in our guidebooks that we could take a minibus from the airport. I saw that locals were taking the bus too and thought that would be safe. We were going to the Old Quarter of Hanoi where all the backpackers live. All the other locals got off at stops before us and we were the only ones left on the minibus. A guy came on the bus and said that he was a representative from the minibus company and that he was there to see that we got to our hotel safely. At the airport we had shown our driver where to go (we had chosen a hotel and pointed at it saying we had "reservations" there). The minibus stopped in front of a hotel that was closed.. And the "representative from the minibus company" said "your hotel is closed we can take you another one". The hotel that we had stopped in front of was NOT the hotel that we had pointed at and we got out of the minibus and said that we would find our own way to another hotel. He claimed that it was the rigth one and I knew that he was lying. He only wanted to get us to let him take us to another hotel and pay extra for his help (I think so at least..)
This was a very cary situation for us because we weren't at the right hotel and we had no idea where we were.. Luckily there was a cab right behind us that drove us to the hotel we wanted to go to.. But the room in the hotel we went to, the light didn't work so we had to go to another one!
A very frustrating night but the next day I read in my guidebook that exactly the same thing had happened to other people and my father said that we dealt with it exactly the way we should have.

On a more lighter note: We really enjoy Hanoi! We have been staying in the Old Quarter and have walked around and experienced this part of town! There are many motorbikes here that honk a lot (cars do too) if something is in their way but you get used to it! We haven't been to anywhere in particular of the sights but strolling around in this city is an experience in itself! Many people sit and eat outside on the street, ladies walk around with baskets, motorbikes are filled to rim with porcelain, vegetabels etc (you name it!) The vibrant life and people are just interesting to observe! I recommend going here! What is very fun too is that we see so many mroe tourists here than we did in Beijing!

Tommorow we are going to Halong Bay (which my brother recommeneded ) and then we are going to Sa Pa on saturday. Sa Pa is a place where there are many hill tribe towns and we are actually going to sleep in a hill tribe home! After these two trips (which I can't wait to start) we are going to start taking a bus down to some other cities in Vietnam!

Tam biet (goodbye in Vietnamese!)

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