Good bye Thailand! Hello Vietnam! Hanoi to be exact!
Whilst comparing flights and buses from Chiang Mai to Vietnam, it seemed more practical to make the journey by flight, although it was slightly more expensive! So that is what we did. During our flight we got chatting to a man sitting next to us, who advised he and his girlfriend had secured a house sit for Australia over christmas! What?! We took the website details to look when we had a chance!
We landed in Vietnam and went to withdraw money from a cashpoint to get a taxi to our hostel. It took us a good 15/20 minutes to work out how much we needed as english pounds to vietnamese dong is so confusing!
We checked into ‘central backpackers’ which is a party hostel. Our room was below the rooftop where all the action happens, but luckily it wasn’t too noisy too late! They served free beer between 7-8pm and had fuseball and beer pong games.
The following morning we woke early to do the free walking tour that the hostel offers, this was a 2 hour trek around Hanoi to see all the famous landmarks, we went to a coffee shop and tried ‘egg coffee’ which is a vietnamese delicacy (it was ok, quite creamy) and ended in a market where there was a competition to find the weirdest item you could, we won! The item was a strange asian cat hat!
The streets are full of thousands of motorbikes, criss-crossing all over the place, everyone drives whichever side of the road they like and no one stops to let you cross the road. You have to just cross and hope they stop or weave around you! Eek! We didn’t eat the street food in Vietnam as all we saw was raw meat at the side of the road with no cold or hot storage! We didn’t want to risk the food poisoning!
In Hanoi the streets are named after what is sold, i.e shoe street sells shoes, and pub street is full of pubs. We headed out with Crysten and her friend Sam who were volunteering at our hostel and they took us for a walk. We tried the famous vietnamese Banh Mi (baguettes) which were yummy before heading to shoe street where we each bought a pair of nike trainers for a measly £10! Bargain!
Out if all the places we visited in Vietnam (blogs coming soon), Hanoi wasn’t our favourite as it is so busy! And there is no wind so it’s just a big sweat box! We did however visit Halong Bay from Hanoi, which was beautiful! You can read about our experience HERE.