Good Morning Vietnam!
Trip Start Nov 07, 2010
22Trip End Nov 09, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
With the New Year came a new adventure in a new country, we had landed in Hanoi, the Capital of Vietnam. We were soon on the shuttle bus making our way through the bustling streets to the Old Quarter. Our first few hours in the city were spent wondering through the chaotic streets and eating our first of many delicious bowls of 'Pho Bo' (chicken noodle soup) on midget plastic seats on the side of the street with our new Norwegian friends, Eirik and Astrid.
2nd Jan 2011
Our first day was spent exploring the sites around the Old Quarter, where we made our way around some of the historic buildings including the landmark Pagoda in the middle of the lake, the Memorial House (a traditional merchants house), another small but impressive temple and two awesome Asian-style bustling markets
3rd Jan 2011
The weather had turned overnight and it was freezing!! The four of us headed West of the Old Quarter, to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex. We explored Ho Chi Minh’s old residence, saw the changing of guards, took photos of the iconic one pillar pagoda (which seemed to be supported by more than one pillar!) and were disappointed to learn that Ho Chi Minh wasn’t in town and was instead on his annual trip to Russia where his corpse was being embalmed. Having warmed up over lunch we went to the prison where we had our first taste of Vietnam’s horrific past. The area where the prison was built was once home to a district of craftsmen, which was destroyed by the French so they could build this prison, which was used to hold and brutally torture those Vietnamese that stood against the French dictatorship. It is difficult to tell how much we saw was propaganda, but it gave us an insight into the horrific treatment of the Vietnamese at the time
Tonight travelled on our first overnight train journey to Sapa – north west of Hanoi. It had been rumoured to be freezing cold so we hit the markets and purchased something warmer than our swimwear! Kitted out in fake pink Nike jogging pants, we set off for the train station. Finding our train was a mission in itself as we chased some guy into the darkness and over the rusty train tracks as he clutched onto our tickets before directing us into our small, four bed cabin, which we shared with a friendly non-English speaking local couple. The journey out of Hanoi was great as we cut right through the heart of the city within metres of peoples homes.