Finally in Hanoi
Hanoi Travel Blog› entry 44 of 54 › view all entries
Today we finally arrived in our last destination on our bus in Vietnam. Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. We arrived by bus from Hue around 8am. We got dropped off in a strange location, some random place where they told all the foreigners to wait for a taxi to take us into town. Then we were separated off into different taxis, Steve and I were the last ones so we got our own taxi with this guy who was with the bus company and he chatted with us as he took us to his hotel so we would stay at it (often the busses are subsidized by the restaurant stops and hotels that they drop off at). We got to the hotel and the rooms looked nice but were more than we wanted to spend.
We first had some errands to take care of. On the list of things to do this morning was book a tour of Halong Bay, eat breakfast and buy tickets to a water puppetry show for tonight. First we walked aorund for awhile asking different tour agencies and hotels about their tour of Halong Bay. Halong Bay is this amazing limestone formation with caves and thousands of islands or smthg, about 3 hours from Hanoi. Every tourist agency arranges boat trips there where you can see the caves and kayak.
After booking the tour, we went to get tickets to the water puppet show which the only show they still had tickets left for was at 4pm this afternoon.
After our errands, we were finally ready to see the sites of Hanoi. We wanted to see the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum but it was already closed for the day, so we went straight to the temple of literature. It was this big temple area that was honoring Confuscius and some other scholars and many people studied there in ancient times, it can be considered the first university in Vietnam. We walked through the temple and saw the sites. Then we left and headed back towards the central part of Hanoi- the Old Quarter.
We walked around a big lake in the old quarter which was pretty. There were some sites to see on the lake and we took pictures.
The show was about 1 hour, and then we went to walk to the nearby market.
Then we went to get dinner. We walked around to find a place and ate at our favorite type of restaurant- eating outside on little plastic child-size stools, eating the one menu item they have which is all cooked outside next to ure table on some coals and stuff. We had noodle soup again (Vietnamese call it Pho) and it also came with these delicious fried bready things. We're use to this roadside pho costing only 10,000 dong (about 60 cents) everywhere, but this bowl of pho was 20,000 dong each! We were surprised and felt we got ripped off, but oh well, that is still only just over $1. After dinner we went back to our hotel and watched some TV and then used the internet to write our updates.