I got checked in quickly in Bangkok, and from there everything went smoothly and quickly. Time went very quickly so before I knew it I was landing in Hanoi! I arrived at the airport just before 6pm, and didn’t need to wait for baggage as I had taken everything as hand luggage. This meant I beat the rush for taxis, and managed to get one straight away to my hostel. I bartered down to 400,000 (£12.50) – having spoken to people at the hostel, this was a good fare from the airport to the centre.
The journey was around 45/60 minutes and after about 15 minutes the English speaking friend jumped out the taxi and I was left with someone who knew NO English! I had asked him, “How do I say Hello in Vietnamese?” His friend had told me 10 minutes before but I completely forgotten. He said (in less words) I don’t know, I don’t speak English and then proceeded to answer the phone and say “HELLO!”, so surely he knows at least what that word means!! By the way, hello is ´Xin Chao´ (said sin chow).
I got dropped off at my hostel, Hanoi Backpackers Hostel, arriving just at the end of the free beer hour, so they gave me a glass of beer to settle in. I sent my “I’ve arrived!” messages to let everyone know I was safe, and sipped away at my beer.
After getting myself settled in the dorm room, I set off to see the nightlife of Hanoi. I had no idea where I was going so just wondered around, and finally found myself amongst a few very busy streets. The first bar I went to was called Crazy Fox. When I got there it was playing drum and bass type music, and by the end of my beer, indie music – so I would say it´s good for all types of music fans! I bought a Saigon beer (tasted somewhere between a Leo and a Chang) for 30,000 dong, about £0.94 (March 2018).
Outside of the bar there were 2 guys playing with, what I can only describe as a badminton shuttlecock, but instead of netting it was feathers. They could not let it hit the ground, and every time one of them made a dodgy kick, he would have to do 2 press ups. By the end of their game, they had done a whole workouts worth of press ups and there was a lot of nearly diving in to traffic to get the shuttlecock-thing!
After that, I carried on walking around the streets and found a place called Prague Bar. Here I had a Hanoi beer (more similar to Chang), and met two wonderful people from Greece, Stathis and Angellica. We enjoyed a Hanoi beer (tastes quite similar to a Chang) and then met up the day after for the Vietnamese History Museum.
On the second night, I booked my trip to Halong Bay (more information to come) and then went for dinner with 2 girls from the hostel. We went to a place called Craft Beer and the waiter was great! His English was fantastic and his sarcasm was even better! After enjoying our food and beer, we headed back to the hostel. Myself and Frances went to find a shop, and as we were about to go, a rat ran across in front of our feet. It was one of those moments where I thought I wouldn’t scream, but I screamed so loud and my heart was racing! My feet had just been where the rat scurried across!!
I couldn’t stay out too late tonight, as my bus to Halong Bay was 7.30am the day after and I wanted a good nights rest! (The days before I hadn’t woken up until at least 8!!). Of course the evening started with the free beer hour at the hostel, and then I went and grabbed some food from the centre of town. I can’t really remember much from this evening, writing it a few days later, but I believe I just came straight home to sleep.
This was my final night in Hanoi, as the next night I would make my way to the airport to go down to Hue. I had been to Halong Bay and was back in the original hostel. We enjoyed our free beer hour, and I met 2 Swedish girls who were travelling with friends. We all headed out for drinks, and some people from the hostel joined too. We went to a pirate themed bar (there were pictures of their cat and dog also dressed up in pirate outfits – CUTE!) and enjoyed beers for 20,000 dong (£0.62). We played the Picolo app, where you add everyones names in to the app and it will tell you what you need to do (i.e. post silly posts to Facebook including certain words, no talking until told otherwise etc.). We had great fun with this game but I certainly felt the affects in the morning!!
Theres not really a ´Night 5´to be included, as this was spent in the airport as we waited for our flight down to Hue. The airport had no food, so we took to the shuttle to the international terminal and got some food before heading back to the Domestic terminal to get a few hours rest. The Hanoi Domestic terminal is possibly the coldest place I’ve ever been. I ended up having to use a skirt as a poncho and layer up wherever possible!
I noticed after writing this, I didn’t have any photos from the nightlife of the Hanoi! Sorry!