20th Apr 2011 - 3rd May 2011
I arrive at Brisbane airport on the Tuesday night at about 10pm. Just so happened that someone I knew from Flight Centre was also flying on the same flight to Brunei! So I sat with Ruth and her 5 mates at the airport and had a couple cold ones while we waited for the massive check in line to dwindle!
After 3 flights and 15 hours travelling (waiting at airports!) I arrive in Hanoi! I jump in a cab (yes mum - the bus went no where near my hotel) and got dropped off at the Van Mieu Hotel. On the taxi ride I checked my wallet and started paniking that my ATM card was missing! I had gotten money out in HCMC while I waited for my domestic flight and the bloody thing swallowed my card! So needless to say I started paniking that all my money would be gone, but I get straight onto the computer at the hotel, check my balance (it is a travelex card) and cancel the card straight away! LUCKY with travelex you get a back up card so no problemo!
Lauren met me at the hotel about 10 minutes later, so I went to the room dumped my stuff and we met a couple people from the tour and took off for something to eat! First eating experience here....AMAZING! YUM YUM YUM is all I can say! After a delicious lunch of Bok Choy with rice and soy we took off and just went exploring. It is a crazy cityy with millions of motorbikes and almost no road rules! Best way to cross the road is to just go and hope for the best! They are pretty good though, as they seem to dodge you with perfection!
We went and got a massage too this arvo and it was interesting! But well worth the US $6 in cost us!!
At 6pm we had to meet back in the hotel for a group meeting. There is 12 of us all together, 10 Aussies and 2 kiwi's and a mix of ages from 20-59! Morag & George, Alan & Jenny, David & Paul, Christie, Elizabeth, Taylor, Wendy and Loz and myself. A great group and we all got along instantly. We had a lovely dinner out and all retired pretty early!
21st April - Early breakfast today before our 8am city tour. We go straight to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum to see his preserved body. Hundreds of people waiting to see him and pay their respects. He was a Vietnamese Marxist revolutionary leader who was prime minister (1945–1955) and president (1945–1969) of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. We then went through the grounds and saw his old house and livng quarters and so on. In the arvo we had free time so Morag, George, Loz and I set off for th markets. WOW! So much stuff, people could go crazy here! I got a pair of Roberto Cavalli sunnies for $5, also a few litle things here and there but saving myself for later!
That night we went to a traditional water puppetry show, it was ok but I was glad when it was over! We did a spot more shopping, went for dinner at a yummy restaurant, had more amazing food (Bun Cha today!) and then went home to bed! Exhausted!
On Friday morning we had an early start for our breakfast at the Blue Dragon Kis Charity. It is a charitably-funded non-governmental organization based in Hanoi, Vietnam. Its mission is to help children escape from the poverty cycle by offering them chances at education and improved living conditions. Didnt get to meet Michael the founder, who mum had given me a huge bad of stuff to take over for him including tim tams, anzac biscuits and much more! But the lovely lady there Kim passed it onto him for me. We met a couple of the ex street kids and had some amazing breakie of fruit (best pineapple in the world over here) and pastries and more!
I must leave this off here for now as I have run out of time, will fill in more details of Halong Bay and Hue and Hoi An next!
Love to all
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|Cutting the grass with Sisscors|
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