Hanoi Travel Blog› entry 11 of 32 › view all entries
Throughout our trip we'd heard all sorts of bad stories about the 24 hour bus from Vientiane, Laos, to Hanoi, Vietnam.. people getting trapped in no mans land on the border without passport stamps and the buses taking off without them and whatnot, but surprisingly our journey was pretty smooth. the thing with sleeper buses though is that i can actually only fit in 4 out of the 40ish seats on the bus so i usually have to have a chat with the bus driver, who rarely speaks english, about my situation so i can get a decent seat. its worked out pretty well so far though.
Vietnam is known for its cheap draught beer, Bia (Beer) Hoi. It usually sells for about 15 cents a pint which makes it the cheapest beer on earth, it usually tastes pretty good too. Theres Bia Hoi stops on the side of the road scattered all throughout the bigger cities in Vietnam and they're always packed with people. Pho Bo (Beef rice noodle soup) stalls are another common sight pretty much everywhere here. I've had days where ive ate nothing but Pho Bo, its just so good, a massive bowl of soup for sometimes less than a dollar.
A weird thing about Hanoi is that there are literally entire streets that sell only one thing, like a sunglasses street, or a t-shirt street, or a booze street. doesnt really make any sense when you think about sales and the competition all the little shops must have, im sure if they were scattered about theyd make a lot more dough.
One day we visited the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the president of Northern Vietnam during the War. He is pretty much a god here in Vietnam, every where you look there are posters or photos of him, everyone loves him. It was weird seeing his actual preserved dead body though, it looked just as if he were sleeping. He died 50 years ago and every year they take his body to russia for 3 months to fix it up for another year of viewing.
Aside from all the salespeople here the vietnamese are all fairly outgoing nice to talk to. One night after going out with a couple of (awesome) danish girls we'd met on the bus we decided to take a taxi back to our hostel. While negotiating a decent price the driver seemed to slur his words abit. After we got in the car and started to drive off the trunk of the taxi popped open and the drivers drunken buddy hopped in for the ride. For about 15 minutes the guy cluelessly searched for our hostel and asking people on the side of the road for directions while the guy in the trunk sang to the music on the radio. after awhile the driver asked his buddy if he new where our hostel was, so he hopped in the drivers seat. at one point we asked, "hey man have you been drinking" all he said was "uhh yup" haha. it was pretty funny, but a little iffy at the same time. he found our place no problem though.