We landed in Hanoi early morning. While our boarding we could observe attitude of Vietnamese people. Well, Rick was pushed and cuter off of the line few time. He said that time: ” Well, it’s gonna to be quite adventure, Vietnamese are aggressive”. I thought that you cannot say that based on this experience but he insisted and said that we will see. He couldn’t be more right ….
At the Hanoi airport you can obtain visa on arrival if you purchased previously letter from some agent. In total you will pay around 60 usd for the visa. Quite expensive. I obtained mine at the Vietnamese consulate in Guangzhou and immigration officer was surprised looking at my visa. Not sure if she could read it, it was in Vietnamese though or maybe she was wandering where Guangzhou is. After sometime she let me in.
From the airport you can take shuttle to the old quarter where the main attractions are. Shuttle costs 2USD. In Vietnam it’s ok if you pay in dollars. Both currencies are accepted.
Our shuttle bus took us to its office in old quarter but before that office manager got in to the shuttle, asked us where we are going and asked for 50000 dong extra for taking us to our hotel. We insist to pay after he take us there. Hotel happened to be 500meters from the office so we refused to pay.
Our hotel was nice and clean with breakfast included for price of 12 usd per night. Yes, in Vietnam you can sleep well for less price, you can eat, drink and travel for less until you won’t get cheat or you can bargain.
A lot of people would say Vietnams is cheap. Yes it is cheap but still they will cheat on you. We went to restaurant which was part of the hotel. When it came to paying I found out that the bill consider meal I didn’t order or I have to say I did but it different price. As we found out the same meal was listed few times in menu: once under vegetarian meals once under meat meal as a waiter or owner assumed I didn’t get anything which was vegetarian even if I consider shrimps as a vegetarian, they were listed under vegetarian and this is what I pointed out to the waitress. Argument with waiter finished in big fight when he asked me to go away, leave his country and go back to my country. He was really rude, aggressive an totally ignoring fact that he made mistake. At the end he throw package of cigarets at me. Well after this experience I was nothing but disappointed in Vietnam.
People approaching you from each side offering souvenirs, glasses, tuk tuks, everything. All you breath is dust and petrol from motorbikes running from each side of the street and all you do is to jump from one place to the another to avoid some accident.
Unfortunately I need to say that there is not much to do in Hanoi but maybe some shopping which I would prefer to go to thailand for that.
Our hotel was nice though, clean with breakfast just for 12usd night.
We decided to leave hanoi as soon as possible. We book sleeping bus to Hue which supposed to be another tourist destination. Bus cost us about 16 usd which was really cheap in compare to other agents had to offer. Off course our pick up was about an hour delayed but it’s ok. Finally when we get to the bus I was ok and all safely we get to Hue. It was still monsoon season in Vietnam so all the time it was raining. Bus stopped next to some hotel which like all hotels in Vietnam was also travel agency. Most of the hotels have travel agency on the side or they offer travel service to the guest. We were approached by hotel owner I guess we insist that we can stay in his hotel. As we already have booked hotel we declined but he also insist to take us to our hotel. We agreed for price of 200 dongs. When we get there he didn’t take the money but try to push us to agree for the tour around the hue. We just said that we will think about it but he decided to pick us up few hours later. Whatever, we prefer to walk around the places and dont like to be push to do something. Anyway we were so tired that we missed him but instead went for walk around the city. Well I really don’t get why this place is listed as a place worth to visit. It was not too much but just regular city with some few historic places we weren’t interested in. We also met bike guy on our way back, so we got chance to give him money back for the ride. We sat in some Italian restaurant bar and enjoyed the rest of the evening.
The next day we went to surprisingly beautiful and historical city called Hoi an. It has amazing architecture, little Chinese town built around the river which looks really spectacular at night.
As we didn’t see any Chinese people in Hanoi this is the place where all of them came. Well where are Chinese it means its place worth to go;)
I have to mention that we didn’t book hotel here. At the bus station they were a lot of vendors just waiting for us. We went to hotel for 12 usd a little far away from the city but with swimming pool free shuttle, which will take you in from of tailor shop belongs to owner of the hotel in the city center but it’s ok. We stayed there also for two days only. The next day we just took bikes so that we could go to the beach. We hadn’t manage to go there as V had small accident and due to some issues with the bike he felt off and cause few wounds on his body. We spend the rest of the day looking for pharmacy and then the way to our hotel. In the evening we took a flight to Saigon but let’s make it another story.