AsiaVietnamHanoi

getting old and poor

Hanoi Travel Blog

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so had my bday yesterday, was less then spectacular, hanoi lacking any kind of nightlife to speak of (or that i like) during the week at least. a few beers at the old quarter ad hoc bar intersection had to do (until the area got kind of raided by the police haha)

treated myself with a day full of food and booked a 2 day almost-deluxe cruise on the 14. through halong bay, one of vietnam's top tourist tra... err attractions. instead of kayaking, swimming, rafting, diving, jumping, and don't know what rubbish stuff adventure tours do there, i'll be relaxing on a deck chair on board a chinese junk (pics pics pics), probably sharing the experience with a bunch of honeymooners and 80 year olds... but i dont care

also found this quite interesting restaurant at the lake with tons of (nice!) staff, balcony view over the lake and modern, western/asian fusion interior. one of the specialties were the vietnamese rolled noodles - some kind of fajita, but you fill rice paper with meat, green stuff and noodles... very nice. included a 'howto' demonstration at the table hehe

and what is going on with that lake anyway... after the sun sets, tons of girls are power-walking / jogging around it. dress code seems to be pj's. but damn, some of them needed the workout... vietnam seems to be high on the obesity ranking in se asia :-)

i'm currently waiting for the overnight train to sapa, my 2 days 3 nights (2 of them in a sleeper train) escape into the mountains. bought my train ticket at the train station which was not too bad, they spoke english pretty well it just needed A LOT of persistence to buy a ticket for the normal train instead of the deluxe tourist trains (same train as mine but advertise their compartments as being 'clean' ... i call bullshit, but will find out tonight). got softsleeper to sapa (lao cai that is) but have to try to get one for the return route in lao cai, cannot buy the ticket here in hanoi.

also bought my ticket to hue on the 15. - no soft sleeper tickets were available (!!) so i went with hard sleeper.. i smell the good old chinese ticket mafia at work again, but hard sleeper is ok as well, i want do downgrade to backpacker again anyway :)
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photo by: mario26