Arriving in Hanoi

After two weeks in Laos we went to Vietnam. We had a plane with a propellor and I was a bit sceptical about it but it turned out to be allright after all.

In many countries you need to show that you are in possession of a return ticket, which in some cases like ours is a bit difficult because we don’t know the precise day we might leave the country. So before we begon our trip, Araldo beagled, I mean googled the Internet in search for an answer. And making a fake ticket was the best we could do (if you ever try that, don’t forget not to use the same flight company name as you are using for the inward flight, otherwise they will find out the fraud).

Once we arrived at the airport of Hanoi, we had to pass the visa staff, like usual. Araldo got our visas booked on the Internet, but we didn’t print the paper because it said it would be okay, but it was not! The officer said: “oh, this is not good, you have to print it!”, (but where can you find a bloody printer on a airport!? You might ask…). Well the answer to all problems is MONEY!
He asked us for 20 U.S dollars, slip it discretely in his pocket, took our passports and gave them to his college and told us to wait. There was a waiting room full of people waiting for their visas, I was losing hope and saw myself waiting for hours. After 10 minutes, our guy said :”psst,  psssst, come over here… here are your passport”. Best 20$ ever spent, we just passed in front of everyone 🙂

The driver of our hotel was waiting for us and we had our first exciting drive in Vietnam.

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We lodged at the Hanoi Guesthouse Hotel, a brand new place with very helpful and nice staff. The hotel is situated in a small street in the old french quarter.
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The street where our hotel is.
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Another part of that street leading to a busier one.

We visited the Temple of the Jade Mountain, the Ngoc son. It is situated on a small island on the Hoan Kiem Lake and connected to the shore with a red bridge. The temple is dedicated to Confucian and Taoist philosophers and the national hero General Tran Hung Dao, who defeated the Mongols back in the XIII century.

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We forgot to make a picture of the building so we borrowed one from Lonely Planet.
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Beautiful roots and Araldo the beautiful boy.
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Non spoiled picture of the tree.
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You can make an offer and pray. You also see Chinese signs because of the Chinese influence on Vietnam.

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This is the legendary turtle with the sword of Le Loi. To read more about it, please visit the link below.

http://www.travelingthruhistory.com/turtle-tower/

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The Turtle Tower in the Hoan Kiem Lake.
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Walking through the streets to see the cathedral.
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And there it is. Unfortunately we couldn't go inside.
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We walked back to our hotel. And you can see how crazy it is.
Question: which motorcycle has priority? The ones coming from the left or right? Or the other ones?
* Answer will be at the bottom of this post.
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"Hello, Banana?" (It is not a private joke but it's what you hear all the time in the whole country).
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Can you spot the red/green lights to cross over?
There aren't any 🙂 you just cross slowly, very slowly. Never run and if you find a red or green light be very careful to cross over.
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You can see many motorcycle or bicycles with shops on it, from clothes to flowers.

* Answer to the question: priority? Who cares. Just make it alive.

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