28 January 2012
Sooooo we've got a little time at the moment…
…thought i'd jump on and update you with my day.
Hanoi is fucking mad. The roads are crazy and there are more motorbikes than people it seems. Horns sounding 5 a second and driving sides of the road dont seem to apply....
Anyway, after settling down in the old quarter of Hanoi at Hanoi Backpackers on Ma May last night, we had an early rise this morning and headed west toward the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum to start a bit of a culture/history filled day.
Theyve preserved his body for everyone to see in a glass casket which was a bit of a sombre experience - weird to see the dead body and his house grounds preserved so well since his death. Very communist feel to the whole experience - all very controlled and herded around the place like cattle.
Camera died after this which was a wounder, but got the memory shots at least.
Then strolled down to the War Museum, via Lenin's statue, where we were shown a shit load of discovered equipment from the US army as they told their version of the story and how the army had progressed through time until the end of the Vietnamese war... I know - all getting a bit intellectual for us two ey!
Stopped off for some lunch at a place called koto - a non profit company set up to teach poor kids how to cook and speak english, and they serve and cook to this day with the training still ongoing. Was pretty impressed by the place and we were treated to a slap up meal with drink and starter all for about 12 quid. Bargain.
Nearby was a large prison that was constructed by the French during their invasion, and we were treated to some more lovely fun-filled stories of torture of the Vietnamese prisoners and saw the dungeons/equipment used to do so.
Decided to hike all the way back through the part of the city we needed to cross to reach our hostel again - avoided death about 20 times each, and after getting lost in the backstreets of this quarter for about an hour we've finally just got back.
Pizza and beer on the way now and back to reality before the man utd / liverpool game kicks off in a couple of hours.
Pretty sure we'll be booking up our 3 day trip to halong bay either today or tomorrow, so will most likely use the credit card again if thats all alright, will set me back about $150 with everything included so if you could keep an eye on that for activity and sort any funds into your account because of it that would be great.
That was an epic email for a day's activity, hope you're not expecting a dissertation-lengthed one if theres a week of no contact, but had the time to let you whats up!
Might give you a call tomorrow evening (your time), as cant skype at this hostel 'cause they have no webcams - though internet is free!
Big hugs and kisses
Next report here