Driving from the airport to our hotel you could see a difference between Thailand and Vietnam. Vietnamese houses are tall and really skinny, the fronts are very grand and colourful but then it looks like they’ve forgotten to do the rest. And there are Karaoke bars are everywhere!! Rachel you would love it! We were staying in the old city and after dropping our bags at a lovely hotel we wandered around the streets. It’s a lot like Venice lots of intertwining, small roads. However the roads are full with 100’s of scooters. Crossing the road can be a nightmare. You’ve got to act confident and just walkout the traffic moves around you. On our first day we wandered around, in the freezing cold with no appropriate clothes as we were chasing the sun. We ate good food and booked a tour to see ha long bay (next post). In the evening we went to see a water puppet show. It was brilliant the stage is water and somehow there are puppets moving across the water telling you about the traditional Vietnamese way of life. There is a live orchestra that were very talented although everything was in Vietnamese so it’s a guessing game as to whats going on.
The following day we hit the tourist sites hard visiting the lake, the French prison (great history lesson) and the history museum which is in a beautiful building but holds no beauty inside except lots of stones.
That night we met a friend of Fergal’s for a few drinks (only a few as we had to be up at 7 to catch the bus to ha long bay). We started on 15p beer (yes I drank beer… First and last time) sitting on mini plastic stools on a corner of a busy street. From here neither of us really know what happened all we know is that we ended up back at our hotel about 530am oops.