06.03.2011 20 °C
Goooood Morning Vietnammmmm!
Having very little sleep ourselves, we backed our bags for what felt like the billionth time and set out for the Bangkok international airport at 350am for our flight to Hanoi. To our suprise Koh San Road was still partying like its 1999, if we didn't know any better, it looking like dinner time...at least we knew we weren't the only ones who would be lacking sleep the following day.
Waaaayyyy back in our journey I can remember barreling down the streets of bangkok in a taxi, holding my breath and clenching my arms tight to my chest wondering if this was it for me. HA that was NOTHING compared to Hanoi! All I could do was laugh...it was that bad. Thankfully our driver was alright...and by alright I mean he still managed to hit a guy on a scooter (ever so lightly of course) and bad mouth another motorist for driving in the wrong lane. We asked what he said....he said "I asked him if he wanted to die"...how does one respond to that?!?!?!...anyways, that was the last cab we took in that city and thus far.
We were taken to a guesthouse in the old city that was dirt cheap, the gentleman at the front desk asked us if we wanted to see the room and of course we always say yes. (When things only cost $16 you have to wonder what you're getting) Turns out we were getting 80 stairs!!! 80 steep, narrow, winding stairs to the very top...the only room available of course. By the time we made it to the top, out of breath and exhausted we had no choice but to say yes to the room. I said "We'll take it if you bring up our bags"..."Deal" he said. Inspite of the stairs, It was a really nice place.
We really did make an effort to see the town the following day...I was in need of some serious retail therapy and was told of a shopping mall not to far off. After breakfast we set out, Diana looking for a tailor to make a fitted jacket, and me for the mall. Now if that wasn't the most stressful pedestrian experience one could ever have! Sidewalks aren't used for walking...no they're used to extend shops and resturants and parking their scooters on. So Diana and I had to walk in the street with the excessive amount of scooters and other modes of transportation. Deep breaths...and even though there are a few signal lights...that doesn't mean anything...and the horn is their best friend. Beep beep beep beeeeppp beeepppp. Any reason to honk and they'll do it.
After a while on the streets of Hanoi, Diana and I started playing a game of 'Who can spot the most random item carried on a bicycle?' There was everything from Plastic bags filled with water and gold fish to full trees with blossoms, what a sight.
Eventually we found the mall....oh my it was a caotic version of Winners to say the least. I'm not sure why the Vietnamese do it, but they like to buy so much stock they could fill 5 stores and then they jam it into a tiny little space and make you dig. Diana and I looked at each other and both said "I'm not ready for this"...so we left and hunkered down in our safe haven. It wasn't until the next day when we started our tour that we saw the Dolce & Gabana and Gucci stores....Grrrrr.
Tomorrow is our two day one night tour to Halong Bay!