A Travellerspoint blog

Vietnam - Hanoi - Christmas Eve

Day 33

overcast 24 °C

Woke up this morning to Christmas Eve in Hanoi. We went and had breakfast at Adam and Eve's a few doors down. We hired bicycles and set off on lonely planet's walking tour of Hanoi. We rode to Hoan Kiem Lake and visited the temple whcih is located on an island in the middle of the lake - not very interesting but a great view. The red bridge was gorgeous

From there we rode to Dong Xam market which was a 1Km ride away. We explored the market for an hour and a half - more shopping. We explored the local streets for another hour before hopping on the bikes and riding back to the lake. We arrived at 2:45pm and decided to have lunch. We ate at a lakeside cafe 'Dak Linh Cafe' - fantastic food.

From there we rode to the Hilton and Sofitel to price ou there Christmas Day lunches - way too expensive for us. We rode back to our hotel but found a restaurant near us 'The Pub' which did a Christmas lunch for UD$10 - so we booked to go there tommorrow.

We rode back to our street and returned our bicycles - thank god because mine was a delapidated men's bike. We stopped in at the travel agents to book a day trip to Halong Bay. We went back to our hotel and watched a bit of TV.

We headed off to dinner at Lay Bac 135 - great feed. After dinner we went to the Water-puppet theatre - front row seats- the show was really funy and quite entertaining. After the show we went for a walk around the lake and got some fairy floss. We went to the City View Cafe for coffee - three storeys up and a great view of the city. We finally went home and headed to bed awaiting Santa's arrival tommorow.


Posted by jess_capri 23:30 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Vietnam - Hanoi

Day 32

sunny 23 °C

After 15 hours on a bus ride from Hue with little or no sleep we eventually arrived in Hanoi. We were asked to look a a few hotels which we felt obliged to do however none of them had big enough rooms for three girls with Australian size luggage and lots of it. We found a hotel we liked that would fit us and our luggage for only $4 per night (Bargain!).

We dropped our luggage off and went to have an early lunch as we hadn't eaten since 5pm the night before. We found a restaurant 'Hanoi Hot Plates' where for 2 Aussie Dollars you were able to have a drink, garlic bread and pizza - so tasty. We then went back to our hotel before heading out to an internet cafe to read emails.

I bought a few more DVD's and a few gifts i still needed on my list. We then headed out for dinner. We walked for a while til we found a restaurant to eat at. I was so full - then we went shopping some more. After a while we went back up to the room, watched a bit ot tv, before finally heading to bed after a long day surviving on no sleep.

Posted by jess_capri 22:00 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Vietnam - On the bus again

Day 31

sunny 28 °C

Woke up early again this morning but somewhow managed to get back to sleep. Today is our last day in Hue - thank god - it is really pretty but there is only so many temples and tombs you can visit in one holiday before getting realy bored. This afternoon we are heading back on the bus to take us to Hanoi. We checked out of the hotel at 11am then headed off for breakfast. We caught cyclos to Mandarin Cafe for breakfast

After breakfast we headed to an internet cafe to check our emails. We then went to a beauty salon were we planned to pamper ourselves. I had highlights put in and a new cut. The others had the hair straightened, coloured and cut.

From there we headed back to the Stop and Go Cafe for a late lunch/early dinner. I had more of the delicious spring rolls and french fries which didn't arrive til after everyone else had finished their meals. We still had an hour to fill in before we had to head back to the bus. The crazy cyclo driver from yesterday followed us for a while so we hid in some shops. We finally got back to our hol where we aited 20 minutes for the bus.

We finally got on board and set out for the last time - a bus ride to Hanoi that takes over 15 hours.

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Vietnam - Hue - Temples and Tombs

Day 30

sunny 27 °C

We woke us this morning - after not recieving our wake up call - and headed down to breakfast - a bread roll, fried eggs and coffee (yuk!). We then met our tour guide for the day, Cat, he spoke english, french and vietnamese. We got into our car and headed off for a day of culture and history. We drove for 1/2 an hour till we arrived at our first stop - the Tomb of Tu Duc. The tomb was classical vietnamese in style and was set in a beautiful country side hill area.

From there on our way to the next stop we stopped at an incence factory and hat making stall - it was quite interesting. It was then off to Khai Dinh Tomb. It was extremely ornate and french in design - apparently Khai Dinh was a homosexual emperor!

From there it was back into the car for another 45 minutes to our next stop, the Thien Mu Pagoda. Unfortunatley it is under renovation so we didn't get to see it in its full glory although we did catch a glimpse of the Ho Chi Minh Trail from the pagoda.

We then let our guide take us to a restaurant for lunch - really yummy spring rolls. It was then back into the car to go to the famous old citadel. Most of it is in ruins but what as left after the Tet offensive was still spectacular in its granduer. We explored the citadel for over an hour before i started to feel sick (again!) and caught a cyclo back to the hotel.

After another sleep we went out to dinner at the Mandarin Cafe - it was really good, especially the pancakes. We allowed a young cyclo driver to take us to the famous 'Browneye' bar for a drink. We then went back to town for ice-cream where we met the same cyclo driver again who took us on a tour of the city before taking us back to the hotel. Brenda actually got to drive/ride the cyclo with the driver in it. We then headed off to sleep for some well earned rest

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Vietnam - Hue

Day 29

sunny 25 °C

This morning we woke up to our last day in Hoi An. We got ready and hopped on our bikes and headed to our favourite cafe - the Banana Split Cafe - for breakfast (They even had vegemite!) We rode around doing last minute shopping. We rode back to the hotel and checked out at 12pm. We left our bags and went out for a ride taking the scenic route down to the river where we stopped for lunch. After eating we headed back towards our hotel. We ordered a taxi - it was going to take too long, so we hopped on honda motorbikes with all our luggage and headed off for the bus.

It was then onto the bus for a short 3 and a half hour ride to Hue. I finished another book and was able to read an English language newspaper to brush mysef up on current events. We finally arrived at Hue at 6:30pm where we had to wait for a taxi to take us to our hotel. We got there and checked in into room 401 - but there are no elevators in the hotel - we have to climb 4 flights of stairs everytime we want to go to our room.

We took cyclos into the main part of town and spent 1/2 an hour looking at tours before booking a day tour for tommorrow - an extra 20 dollars for an English speaking guide. We went and had dinner at the Stop and Go Cafe as recommended by Lonely Planet. They have the best spring rolls in the world - no kidding. You roll them yourselves at the table.

A young boy sold us postcards at the table when we were eating and when we stopped for ice-cream later on he found us again and tried to pick up Brenda - absolutely hilarious. We finally caught cyclo's back to our hotel where we climbed the stairs to our room before finally heading to bed.

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