AsiaVietnamHanoi

A scary moment

Hanoi Travel Blog

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Julia and I in the taxi, before it all went a bit wrong!

People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Juliana (Russia)

After a relatively quick transfer into Vietnam, we came across what i'd really expect from a South East Asian border crossing, aggressive touts trying to force you into overpriced taxis. The nearest town been 20km away, we decided to charter a taxi all the way to Hanoi for $30 (originally asked for $60) between the 4 of us. We squeezed our bags into the car and Tal and Mandy pulled out a bottle of wine to celebrate! Unfortunately it was all a little premature. The taxi soon pulled over and bundled us into a larger mini bus and it was becoming apparent that we were on a public mini bus, having to pay taxi prices.

Water Puppet Theatre
We made sure we were getting the same service to Hanoi and decided it wasn't so bad afterall.

Once in Hanoi the fun and games began. Tal decided that the driver was going to take us to each of our hotels, whether he wanted to or not, whilst the driver was showing his piece of paper saying Hanoi and no set address. There was no way we were more than a few hundred metres from our hotel, but Tal was insistent we were taken and wouldn't pay. So the driver said 'police police' and started to speed through the streets. It soon became apparent that he was driving us to the outskirts of town, whilst Tal's response was to tell him to F**k Off and he wasn't paying! When Tal tried to open the back door, a steel bar was pulled from the dashboard and shouting began again. Eventually i persuaded the driver to stop and made the Americans pay their share of the taxi.

Hao Lo Prsion Museum
In a strange country, been threatened with a weapon, its not really the time or place to be quibbling over something like this, but unfortunately some people think that the law would protect them, like it would in their own country. Very annoying! As a result of this, we were dropped off in the middle of nowhere and had to pay another $7 to get back into town.... perfect! We finished our day in the wonderful Hanoi Guesthouse and after going out for some Dinner, got a much deserved nights sleep!

The following day we walked around Hoan Kiem Lake and generally had a relaxed introduction, to the crazy streets of Hanoi, which has 3 million motorbikeswhizzing around the small alleyways. At night we went to see the Water Puppet Theatre, which was a nice way to spend an hour.

Julia at the Lenin Statue
Almost as fun as the puppet show was watching at least a dozen exhausted tourists taking a well earned nap!

On Saturday we went out and visited Hao Lo Prison, which had held Vietnamese political prisoners under the French occupation and more recently American POW's, whose planes had been shot down during the Vietnam War. It was pretty somber and an interesting place to reflect on Vietnam's tumultuos history. We also took a walk to visit the nearby flag tower and to cure some of Julia's homesickness, took a trip to a statue of Lenin! Having cable tv in our room, i took full advantage and watched 3 live Premiership games, to get a much needed and much missed football fix!

Deats says:
Its just a few mate, dont get down on yourself. At least many Americans are friendly and courteous, something i cant say for plenty of nationalities around the World!
Posted on: Mar 01, 2008
hyenas says:
I have to agree. I knew I was at the American bound flight terminal in Bangkok when the arrogance of "Why do we have to be frisked again" spouted out of this fat pig! I knew I was at the right place...seats full of fatties and a sense of self deservedness. Yes, I'm an American (embarrassingly so)!
Posted on: Mar 01, 2008
Deats says:
Cheers John. The majority of Americans i've met have been great to be honest, this was sadly an occasion where they weren't. But i've met plenty of idiots from my own country too - bad and good people come from everywhere :)
Posted on: Sep 09, 2007
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Julia and I in the taxi, before it…
Julia and I in the taxi, before i…
Water Puppet Theatre
Water Puppet Theatre
Hao Lo Prsion Museum
Hao Lo Prsion Museum
Julia at the Lenin Statue
Julia at the Lenin Statue
Mandy and Tal in the taxi
Mandy and Tal in the taxi
Thap Rua (Tortoise Tower) on Hoan …
Thap Rua (Tortoise Tower) on Hoan…
Water Puppet Theatre
Water Puppet Theatre
Flag Tower
Flag Tower
Hanoi
photo by: mario26