#84 - flying to hanoi to meet up with habitat for humanity group!

Vinh Yen Travel Blog

 › entry 84 of 113 › view all entries
view from my hotel room in Vinh Yen
i flew into hanoi from laos & it was definitely a nerve-wracking process.  first of all, i had tried to go to a bank machine in laos to get out money the day before & my ATM card was not working.  i was nervous that when i got to vietnam that my ATM card wouldn't work & i literally had ONE U.S.  dollar in my wallet.  not the best way to travel, i realize....but that's what it was.

also, it was a pretty intense process with getting my visa upon arrival.  at the lao airlines counter, they weren't satisfied with the approval letter i had printed out from an e-mail that jack from habitat for humanity had sent me.  i had to go into an office & sign a paper telling them i realized i didn't have an actual visa on me & that if vietnam refused me, it was my fault, & not lao airlines.
melinda & wendy at dinner the first night
  THEN, there was something weird with the credit card transaction i had made to purchase the ticket, so they had to see my credit card.  it was literally one thing after the other & i was just crossing my fingers i would get into the country okay!

so anyway, when we arrived in hanoi & headed to the visa on arrival counter, my heart was definitely racing.  they are just so intense there & i was just hoping there wouldn't be any issues.  turns out everything went super smoothly - got my visa, got my bags, found my driver, & got out money!  wooo hoo!

then, on to vinh yeh. 

i was definitely nervous about meeting up with a whole group of people after traveling on my own.  i was excited to be in ONE hotel for a week & to not have to make any dinner plans or deal with any logistics, but it was just definitely going to be a switch from the solo travel thing.
mary & papa leo


when i got to the hotel, everyone was sitting in the lobby having beers.  i was glad i had met a few people back in SF months ago before i left so at least there were some familiar faces.  it was great to be there & meet everyone & get started on this part of my journey.

we all went out to dinner at a place a couple doors down from the hotel.  a very fun intro to this group. this was the night that craig ate a chicken foot too.  nice.  :)

the next day, we went to the market first thing in the morning.   i just love markets!  i couldn't stop taking pictures of everything (as you will see here!)

we then had a team-building cooking class....very fun stuff.  (and probably one of our most delicious meals on the trip!)

that night we had another big group dinner somewhere.  they honestly all started to blend together for me.  super fun meals, 17 people, lots of food , lots of wine drunk & rice served at the end.  that pretty much sums up all of our meals!
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
view from my hotel room in Vinh Yen
view from my hotel room in Vinh Yen
melinda & wendy at dinner the firs…
melinda & wendy at dinner the fir…
mary & papa leo
mary & papa leo
craig eating a chicken foot (this …
craig eating a chicken foot (this…
first night out - papa leo & i hit…
first night out - papa leo & i hi…
the morning market
the morning market
the morning market...yummmm...meat…
the morning market...yummmm...mea…
fresh fish at the market
fresh fish at the market
yum.
yum.
snails anyone?
snails anyone?
poor guy
poor guy
yes, thats a chicken in her hands
yes, that's a chicken in her hands
and yes, thats a chicken being sk…
and yes, that's a chicken being s…
poor fella, doesnt realize what h…
poor fella, doesn't realize what …
little eels  :)
little eels :)
pigs feet
pig's feet
little guy playing with the sticke…
little guy playing with the stick…
they just love to see the pics we …
they just love to see the pics we…
oh we just loved her!  what a grea…
oh we just loved her! what a gre…
those are all eggs in those carton…
those are all eggs in those carto…
shes biking, with a bike
she's biking, with a bike
melinda & her flowers
melinda & her flowers
our hotel
our hotel
bruce & ron at our cooking class
bruce & ron at our cooking class
tim & craig
tim & craig
greg & his squash - he was very ex…
greg & his squash - he was very e…
len!
len!
craig doing something wrong, proba…
craig doing something wrong, prob…
our first lunch
our first lunch
the habitat for humanity crew
the habitat for humanity crew
tu & wesleys kids
tu & wesley's kids
check out all that dong!
check out all that dong!
Vinh Yen
photo by: radrockyd