Leaving Hanoi

Time to leave Hanoi. Having the hell ride from Laos fresh in our memory, we thought it might be a god idea to try to go by train this time. Our hotel arranged the tickets and at the end of the day, shortly after sunset, we where put into a taxi with our heavy bags. A guy from the hotel drove along with his motorcycle and awaited us at the station. He payed the taxi driver and caried most of our stuff all the way to the train entrance. What a service! Without him we would probably be lost somewhere in an Hanoi gettho.

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A few last snapshots from our hotel room.
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Taxi rides are in itself an attraction.

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Our beds in the night train to Hoi An for the next 13 hours. They were above expectation and even kind of clean. We couldn't say the same for the toilet. Of course Sanne managed to scratch her hand open exactly at that awful filthy toilet door, so we were a bit worried about her survival chances.
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Sanne claiming her cosy corner of the room.
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As it happened, we had to share our four bed cabin with a couple from Rotterdam. We were a bit luckier then those guys, being shorties instead of nearly two meter.

Trấn Quốc Pagode

On our last day in Hanoi we took a bus to the Trấn Quốc pagode, originally created in the sixth century and part of the oldest Buddhist temple of Hanoi. Having not really a clue what we were doing we took a bus with a number that was going from the old quarters, where our hotel was, to the pagode. After a while we noticed we were not going in the right direction at all. Apparently we took the bus in the wrong direction and were dropped clueless at the end terminal of bus number 24. With some sign language and pointing at google maps to our destination we were ordered into the next bus, about to leave in 20 minutes or so. Being a communist country it was somewhat dissapointing that we had to buy new tickets. Lucky for us they are only 7000 dong, something like 0,35 euro.

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Our bus journey through the city was quite interesting in the end. We drove through very bad neighbourhoods and saw all kinds of funny things happening on the streets around us. Totally worth the time and money. Window cleanliness could be improved on.
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The luxurious bus interior. The guy in the middle of the bus sells the tickets.
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From the bus stop we had to walk next to the lake. Quite good visibility for Hanoi standards.
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Approach to the pagode alongside the lake.
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No wear the shorts. Please, all the people!

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I'm smaller than the Bonsai!
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We walked back through a large park, but it was not very interesting except for some guys playing foot badminton.

Tuan and Ling

Once I met through a friend in Paris, a Vietnamese girl by the name of Mai Ahn. I told her that Araldo and I were going to stay a month in Vietnam, so she gave me some advice and asked me if we wanted to meet some friends of her. So I got in touch with Tuan and we decided to have diner all together.

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Tuan knew a nice place where we could eat a traditional dish called Pho.
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We went for a drink afterwards.
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Inside the bar there was a karaoke with old ladies singing real bad, Tuan hears were bleeding haha.
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We walked back home and had a ice cream near the lake.

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Back in street of our hotel 🙂