AsiaVietnamHanoi

Dead puppies aren't much fun (Part Deux)

Hanoi Travel Blog

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Cow livers on the street

In the morning, Tom woke me up and went out to get breakfast while I got ready.  He came back with baked beans with rice, a sweet fried bread filled with syrup, and a dumpling filled with soup and noodles that was really great.  I packed up my things and they walked me through a very busy market.  Tom pointed out that there was a sale at a grocery store and that the shoppers lined up long before it opened to get the best deals.  Sounds a lot like home. 

In the market we walked by the pet stands.  People were selling turtles, dwarf hamsters, and all kinds of very cute puppies.  People were carrying puppies on their bikes or in plastic bags to sell.  Then on one bike, there was a little cage in front with all kinds of fur sticking out mixed with clothing.

Puppies for sale
  I asked Chen about it and she told me that puppy had died.  I don't know what it is about me and Asia, but dead puppies seem to be everywhere!

We tried to hail a taxi but were told there was an airport shuttle very close by that I should take instead.  So we hopped on a crazy city bus and went to the hotel.  Unfortunately the shuttle wasn't going to leave for another hour, but Tom found me a cheap taxi driver instead.  We hugged and said goodbye as I got in the taxi.  Then all the other taxi drivers standing around started laughing, saying "bye", and holding their arms out for a hug.  I just laughed and waved at them all as we drove off. 

I flew through Beijing which was horrible.  The airport itself was nice, but it was incredibly confusing, even though more people spoke English there than anywhere else I'd been thus far.

Pho in the streets
  I mailed some packages from the airport, but then had to check in for my next flight which was with a different airline (Vietnam Air).  I knew I was in terminal 3 and my flight took off from terminal 2, so I asked if that's where I check in.  Everyone at the help desks told me no, that I needed to check in on this floor or that floor.  I ended up in some very strange parts of the airport where I was suddenly all alone in hallways with nothing in sight.  Finally I gave up and just took the shuttle over to terminal 2 which took over 40 minutes!  Once there I went through security and was able to check in without a problem.  That's what I get for listening to people. 

I arrived in Hanoi and breezed through customs.

Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
  I stopped at a tourist desk inside the airport since I had such a great experience with this in Shenzhen.  I told the guy where I wanted to stay because I wanted to know the best way to get there.  He offered to call the hotel and book the room already.  He picks up the phone and dials, then hangs up and tells me they're full.  I gave him a "yea right" look and pointed out the fact that he didn't even say a word and I didn't believe him.  He tried to argue that I was just looking away when he talked, but I just walked away in disgust. 

I found a good taxi and went to the hotel I wanted.  It's Mid-Autumn festival in a few days and it just so happens they have a special night market set up by this hotel, so it was very hard to get to it.  For the festival, the tradition is to buy children toys so this night festival was filled with kids choosing which toy they wanted this year.

Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
  It was very sweet seeing how all the kids faces were lit up looking at some of the simplest toys you've ever seen.

I checked into the "not full" hotel and signed up for a tour of Halong Bay the next morning since my guidebook said this is one case where you need a tour.  I checked out the night market which was fun and had some pho at a sidewalk restaurant with all the other locals.  Then I headed back to the hotel to get ready for my trip the next day.

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Cow livers on the street
Cow livers on the street
Puppies for sale
Puppies for sale
Pho in the streets
Pho in the streets
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
The Shower
The Shower
Toms place
Tom's place
Pet store on the sidewalk
Pet store on the sidewalk
Toms place
Tom's place
Beans for breakfast
Beans for breakfast
Local Restaurant
Local Restaurant
Dead puppy
Dead puppy
First views of Vietnam
First views of Vietnam
First views of Vietnam
First views of Vietnam
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Pho in the streets
Pho in the streets
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Mid-Autumn Festival shopping
Hanoi
photo by: mario26