Solo trip ; Hanoi

Going on a solo trip ; a first amateur one Not knowing where to go , no guide to lead , no books to read , limited map in hand, and of course , no one to discuss with. Quite an eye opening experience considering the things you need to do to make things work when you have only a pair of hands.  Awkward moments set in at times , joyous period dips in at moments.  Day 1  Reached the airport and through the customs alone is a bit of a scary part . Probably the movies has got into me to think that they are just gonna stop you and check on you. sweaty palms did not help to ease the situation  Decided to save some money , experience something. Wanna take the shuttle bus and then get to the hotel from there. Walked around a bit , to and fro looking out where to board the bus. Almost gave up when there are so many taxis & motorbikes coming up to offer a ride straight to the comfortable beds. Luckily finally found my way to the station , sweat some , and did manage to get on the right bus ( number 7)  after all. Rain was pouring. Wanted to save some more money , braved myself and met up with Miriam and Jesus from Spain , car pool to reach my hotel. 35,000 dong and 30,000 for the taxi; thats a far reach of 15usd for the same distance . Yay !!!  Got to the hotel checked in , arranged a cruise , swapped the pricey one for the cheaper one ; fingers crossed. After all, I'm going alone , not any honeymoon!  Get settled and started waking around the town blindly , empty stomached , reached the water puppet theatre somehow , and bought the tickets for 3.30pm when it was 2.15 pm. Less than an hour to rush to get something to eat , otherwise the audience will be listening to my stomach drumming instead !  Walked and walked , looking for the famous tangerine cafe-failed. Gosh  Got myself a sugary desert drink and off I ran to the theatre. Amazing performance , but I guess fatigue has got on me. An hour of show done , guess its time for brunch + dinner . Walked further , looking around , got something to eat finally at the orchid restaurant. The fried rice noodle was not bad. A sip of Hanoi beer to compliment the meal. Full and tired , got lost , again to the hotel. That's when I feel desperado as there's no one but myself knows where do I stay. Somehow made it . Hot shower it is.  Next up , the night market ! I never could resist one. Walked and had some candy , got my teeth sticky.  Time for some snacks I suppose , thus stopped at a desert stall , again . Can't resist one ever in the hot weather! a nice coincidence to bump into a Singaporean  , chatted a little , talked bout people and politics . And we moved on separate ways . I walked on , as blindly as I am , bck to the hotel. Time to hit the bed , rising early tomorrow for the bay !  Day 2  Woke up early for breakfast. Food a must !  Got myself 2 slices of bread , watermelon juices , some tarts& the waiter handed me the menu. So I thought , why pay when I can get food included in my stay ! Finished them all and the waiter came to take my order. Out of politeness , I asked how much are they , he said , " it's included already in what you paid" so , I went on and ordered a chicken noodle soup. Feeling a bit dry down the throat , got up and got myself some fruits and juice  " sir, you might want to leave some space for the noodle" lol. He doesn't know me yet I suppose .  Got on board , headed to halong bay Awkward silences on the dining table , strangers to each other plus I'm the "single guy" on board There were Australians ( too many of them) , a Dutch couple and a family from indonesia Then programs after programs  Kayak and mount climbing was great as expected ; but the last minute dip in the sea was the best ever The weirdest moment is always whenever I've no one to talk to, to take pictures with  I decided I shouldn't take any more trips like this alone  Day 3  Woke up at 5.15, was almost bright Damn !im gonna miss the sunrise Rushed to brush my teeth , washed my face and run up on the deck . Phew ! Made it . Sun rising , breathtakingly beautiful. Apparently I'm the only one there . Guess everyone is still sleeping. No regrets on waking up early for that. Then it's tai chi and food. Tai chi isn't as easy as it seems . Could do it sometimes later; was fun . Cave exploring didn't appeal to me much but went On anyway  Then it's time to head back to Hanoi , felt like its the whole day already . Tired !  Time to sleep!  Decided to be not so ambitious this time , asked the lady at the hotel what's and where's good for Vietnamese food nearby. Don't think I could afford to get lost again. Found my way to a restaurant ordered a salad and claypot fish . Finished my salad but the fish was yet to come thus asked the waitress only to figure that  I only ordered one dish. Stomach growling , got myself a plate of fried noodles instead. The whole meal was not bad after all Ended the day by stopping by at grocery shop and bought some moon cakes only to realize there were better shops ( exteriorly) I hope they're the same and doesn't taste bad. Fingers crossed Day 4 Paid usd 18 and got a van with an upright seat , and limited space for the legs , I'm pretty pissed off  And for this reason , I'm not gonna recommend this hotel to anyone. If they had gone to details to serving you welcome drinks etc, the whole lack of sensitivity and pretty much a scam to me just destroyed all the good impression. I could have just flag a private car and gave myself a comfortable with only usd15. I thought they would've done better , apparently not Arrived at the airport , with the stiff neck and back in addition to the cramping legs doesn't feel good at all. To add a pinch of salt to the wound , I just lost my belt as I was passing through the customs. Only noticed the belt was not there after I went to the toilet and recalled having taken it off. Went back to look for it but it wasn't there. It's just sad  It's all  negative points for today apparently 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Is this your last post since year 2012 ? What about the continuation ?