AsiaVietnamHanoi

Day 30 - travelling from Laos to Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi Travel Blog

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Our lovely guest house in Vientienne

Today was another travel day, flying from Vientienne (Laos) to Hanoi (Vietnam). Our flight was at 14.10 so at about 10.30 we checked out of our guesthouse and got a tuk-tuk to the airport. We had to be there about 2 hours before flight time but we really didn't have much else to do so we headed off to the airport in loads of time.

The airport was quiet and nice, security wasn't as difficult as an international airport and the staff were all very laid back and friendly. We had our flights booked with Vietnam airlines but we flew with Laos airline by propeller plane! It was the first time Caroline had flown on a propeller plane and she was a little taken back by the noise and vibration of one.

Repairing a tuk-tuk with a little help from the gods above!!
The flight was uneventful, a little turbulence but the landing and take off were very smooth. One nice addition to the flight was that we got given a light lunch during the flight, a ham sandwich, choice of soft drinks, a small piece of cake and a mandarin orange, a very tasty and pleasant surprise compard the normal Ryanair flights I would take!!

The first thing we had to do on landing in Vietnam was get some Vietnamese Dong, another currency that operated in 100's of thousands and millions instead of using small deoninations like 10, 20 and 50 cent coins. After finding an ATM machine here I was, a millionaire! For the first time in my life I was actually a millionaire, all be it in Vietnamese Dong, I think 1,000,000 Dong was about €50 but hey, I was a millionaire!

After sorting out money, we enquired about modes of transport to Halong Bay but we were told that there were no buses running at this time and that there was no passenger train, the only way to get there would be a taxi.

Vientienne Regional Airport
After asking a nearby taxi tout the cost to Halong Bay, we quickly decided against a taxi, it was gonna cost us $200. The only option open to us then was to stay in Hanoi for the night and then make our way to Halong Bay tomorrow, so off we headed to Hanoi in a taxi.

We were dropped off in the old quarter of Hanoi right outside the taxi-driver friends guest house, and after paying what we thought was a lot for the taxi, 450,000 Dong for a 45 minute journey, we weren't really in the mood for another rip off. The guesthouse however wasn't too expensive, and they did arrange our bus to Halong Bay for the following morning so overall it wasn’t too bad.

The main area inside the airport .. as you can see .. very relaxed!

After getting our travel plans for Halong Bay sorted, and our luggage put into our room we decided to head looking for somewhere to have dinner. When we stepped out on the street we got our first real taste of the hussle and bustle of Hanoi. There were motorbikes everywhere, everyone was beeping the horn at everyone else for no real reason other than to get out of their way. I thought it was strange why they done this as everyone was doing it, if they managed to just tell everyone not to do it then they would still get around just as efficiently and the nloise levels would be far less. Crossing the road in a major city in Vietnam is another feat, the traffic lights and pedestrian crossings mean nothing to motorists, so you really are putting your life at risk just trying to cross the street.

Our Lao Airlines propeller plane!

It took us ages to find somewhere to eat. We were both very hungry and wanted some western food, but all we could find were street vendors selling local Vietnamese food. After about 20 minutes of wandering we found a restaurant doing a varied buffet so we settled for that. It turned out to be very nice with lots of different foods and second helpings as often as you wanted. After the buffet we headed back to the guesthouse to get another early night because we were to be up and ready for 8:30 the following day.

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Our lovely guest house in Vientien…
Our lovely guest house in Vientie…
Repairing a tuk-tuk with a little …
Repairing a tuk-tuk with a little…
Vientienne Regional Airport
Vientienne Regional Airport
The main area inside the airport .…
The main area inside the airport …
Our Lao Airlines propeller plane!
Our Lao Airlines propeller plane!
Being a millionaire for the first …
Being a millionaire for the first…
Hanoi
photo by: mario26