Wednesday, 13 January 2016

OCT '15 | Hanoi, Vietnam Part 1.

An extremely overdue post on my trip to Hanoi, Vietnam dating back to the end of October, alongside my sister from another mister, Sharon. We arrived pretty late from Hong Kong, so we decided to go all out at dinner as we were practically 'millionaires'.  1,000,000 equated to £30. Dong currency- you are confusing, not to mention your name's pretty unsuitable for the immature.

vietnam, lake of the returned sword, travel
Hoan Kiem Lake
We stayed in a hotel named, Boss Legend in the traditional Old Quarter of Hanoi where motorbikes were non stop and the hustling and bustling streets were filled with plastic stools and an endless supply of coffee. The Vietnamese are big on coffee shops as I soon found out when I unknowingly took a sip of 'weasel poo' coffee and claimed how nice it was, until Sharon told me about a particular ingredient. The clue was on the packaging really. A great big picture of a weasel. Nice one.

The traffic was insane, I doubt I'll see anything like it again. There was a constant cacaphony of noises coming from our hotel and traffic light crossings were sparse, if any. On the first day, we watched a group of tourists fearlessly crossing the road without motorbikes and cars whizzed past them. I was a road crossing pro too by the end of it all. Y'all better believe it.

old quarter, travel
Our first full day in Hanoi and we were on a mission to find 10am pho and a spa. We discovered a street dedicated to shoes, five minutes into our search. We looked like a right pair (excuse the pun) of gormless tourists, when a grinning Viet man suddenly bent down in front of me and started glueing my sandal ... I screamed and ran away from the scene. In hindsight, I probably should have thanked him for 'fixing' the hole in my sandal.

So. The spa experience. This is when the language barrier came to life when we were greeted by two Viet men who handed us paper underwear to cover our modesties and left us to 'enjoy' the steam bath. Except, we didn't quite know what we were doing and stood there. I've never been to a spa before so I wasn't quite what to do. Fast forward several minutes of confusion, we were then accustomed to a full body scrub. He was wearing a gold chain. I pretty much spent the entire scrub session trying not to laugh.
old quarter, spa
The rest of my session was pleasant though, when a woman overtook and I came out alive and feelin' fresh as a daisy, despite feeling slightly scarred for life at the thought of a gold-chained Viet man scrubbing my crack.

Later on in the evening, having visited the Hoan Kiem Lake, the kind waitress at the restaurant we were eating at, gave us a list of 'bars' that she liked. Wifi-less, we decided to go on a whim and we may have ended up in a nightclub at 10pm. Did I mention it was Halloween? Viet girls in cat ears were roaming around the foyer. Not exactly the scene we were looking for.
tuk tuk, travel
Feeling less spontaneous (wi-fi time) and minutes later, we were on Ta Hien Street, one of the liveliest streets of the capital. We were bombarded with a plethora of bars and food places and soon found Funky B, our Halloweeny destination. And I also got to go on a Tuk Tuk! It was so worth it, even if the Tuk Tuk man conned us but I'll forgive him; cycling that thing doesn't seem like an easy one.

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