Sunday, 3 May 2009

Two days in Hanoi, 2-3 May 2009

Saturday morning was a lazy one. I had to sleep until 10am to catch up on my tiredness from the previous day.

When I got up I met a Belgian guy called Steven in my dorm. He was on his way to the train station buy a train ticket to go to Sapa that evening. I needed to go the train station to buy my ticket to Sapa for Sunday night so I joined him.

When we got there we discovered there were no sleeper tickets to Sapa until Wednesday night! This bloody bank holiday was starting to annoy me! It was affecting everything I wanted to do.
Steven was gutted that he wasn't going to be getting to Sapa that evening. We discovered that they had hard seats left for the Sunday night train so booked it.

For four pounds it wasn't going to be the nicest journey ever, but at least it would get us to Sapa. With the tickets bought we went to explore the city.

Hanoi doesn't seem as busy as Ho Chi Minh City. It's still really nice with nice big lake, lots of markets, stores and lots of busy life going on everywhere. We found a peaceful spot in a pagoda in the middle of the lake.

In the evening we decided to go see a Water Puppet show. This was incredible. The music, the puppets, the innocence of it all! Truly magical with bright colours and amazing puppets. There were about 15 scenes acted out including the myth of the turtle in Hanoi lake. It was such a nice evening.

On Sunday morning I got up early and headed to the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh. This is where I get really confused, Ho Chi Minh City is in the South aka Saigon, and Ho Chi Minh's body is in the North in Hanoi. it really is too much confusion for my little mind.

He wasn't as scary as Lenin whose eyes are slightly open. And he's certainly looking good for his age!

Again, it was a toruist Sunday so everyone was out with full force. Oh my god I was getting so annoyed with the middle class Vietnamese families. One man kept stepping on my flip flop at every step and constantly pushe into me so I would move! Happy I was not, so I let him walk in front! Grrr!

I had a walk around Ho Chi Minh's former residences and the museum. The museum was ridiculously busy so I didn't get to read/learn a lot about his life. BUt the museum was a spectacle in itslef, it was one big piece of modern art and was amazing to admire.

In the afternoon Steven and I found another lake that was off the tourist track and so we sat people watching for the whole afternoon. It was fascinating!

We grabbed some dinner and then made our way to the train station for our twelve hour ride in the hard seats!

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