AsiaVietnamHanoi

Another poncho day...

Hanoi Travel Blog

 › entry 35 of 55 › view all entries

Today was just another one of those days which we basically had to kill. Luckily we didn't trek today, because in the middle of the night it started to rain, and didn't stop all day. That poncho has seen some action on this trip...I can imagine many trekking trips were cancelled today due to the bad weather. It was nearly deadly yesterday trekking around, and I can't believe people would go out in this kind of weather. I suppose the people who did homestays with the minority people would have got longer to know them though...

It's really light in our hotel, but the great panoramic view of Sapa makes up for it. Ha. Paying $8 a night though, we can't really complain...

I was clever enough to bring some trousers with me on this trip (which convert from shorts) but stupid enough to put these cut-offs in the same bag as my stinky poncho...so no chance of wearing those today. The day was spent going from coffee-house to coffee-house, with me in my jumper, poncho, shorts and sandals. Must have looked a right tool....

We check out the market too, which in typical South East Asian fashion, is full of meat I can't even begin to guess at...better than a kebab though! Or maybe the same...it's too wet to do anything much though, except drink hot drinks (it's COLD in Sapa!) and play some more shithead.

At 5PM we get our minibus. Sorry, at 5PM we are MEANT to get our minibus...it's 45 minutes late, and our hotel has no power (though, mysteriously, the football is on across the road...) and we are wet, and irritable, but it's OK.

The ride down to Lao Cai train station is perilous. So much peril. Too perilous. There is zero visibility, and the driver is going on pure remembrance of the roads and instinct. About half-way down, there is a truck, crashed into a minivan. Instead of waiting (we had a train to catch!) the driver goes around the OUTSIDE of the truck, so we are stupidly close to the edge, and gets round that way. Genius.

The way the train tickets work befuddles every Westerner in the whole town. We all have differing pieces of paper (which aren't actually tickets) which the kind (!) woman in the box tells us to pick up in the rather specific place that they called "outside". After chatting to some Danish girls, who have no idea what's going on either, I ask a guard. Apparently, we pick-up the tickets from a guesthouse worker, who comes and delivers them at 5 to 8. Our train leaves at quarter past 8. Eventually we get our tickets, and bundle our way in. We see an unfortunate couple who haven't made the swap, and aren't allowed on the train with their bit of paper. They get zero help from the guard, who just says no, you can't come on. I tell them what to do, and hopefully they make it on OK. Looking at the prices before we leave, it seems we have been mugged off in Vietnam. Again. The MAXIMUM we should pay for one way is 200,000d (12 US), so 24 return. We paid 50. This country is really starting to grate on me now...I suppose we should be more on the ball, and book the tickets ourselves...but then who know's whether we book the right thing. It's something we have learned to accept in Vietnam, but it still irritates sometimes...

It's another 6 person cabin, and me and Burg have the top two bunks, with the other four taken by Vietnamese men. It's my turn for the top bunk, and I almost break my neck trying to get in...then there is zero room up there to do anything except lie still...so that's what I do...by midnight, I'm still not asleep, and seriously regretting not getting a bottle of whisky for the return journey...

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Hanoi
photo by: mario26