Bumping into Wayne and Steph
Hanoi Travel Blog› entry 53 of 121 › view all entries
My ass stung from the cycling and I did not enjoy a 7am start. It was worth it for a good breakfast though, and by 7:45am I felt fine for the boat and bus back to Ha Noi. I’d loved my time in Halong Bay and it cheered me up a lot after being stuck in Ha Noi for so long.
We sorted tickets out for a bus to Sai Gon, hopping on and off as you please for a total of five stops. We chose just to go a few hours down the road to Ninh Binh. The bus turned out to be a sleeper bus in which you get your own little bed space. Your back and head is arched upwards slightly to allow the bay behind space for their feet (there is of course a sheet of strong plastic separating each person).
After being picked up, we drove around various other pick up stop and who should get on? Wayne and Steph!!! How circumstantial! Well, they were going a bit further on to Hue, so when we arrived in Ninh Binh we agreed to this time meet up in just a couple of days.
On being dropped off in the middle of no-where, we were left on the side of the road someway out of town. These bus drivers supplement their income by dropping you outside a hotel of their choice at an inconvenient hour and taking a commission. the hotel welcoming staff invited us to have a look, but we thought we could do better than that and tried to find our way into town. We weren’t happy at being left outside of town.
It was dark and getting late, so when some guys stopped by us on mopeds asking if we would like to stay at their hotel, we checked out the review in the Lonely Planet and said that would be fine. It turned out to be the same hotel we just walked away from; not just that, but the same welcoming guy! We just hadn’t recognised him in the dark! These people seriously do not know how to take no for an answer, and who can blame them when they get their way out of idiots like us?