'For Adventures of a lifetime'

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Day 4 & 5 in Vietnam (Glorious morning of arrival in Hanoi...and overnight train to Sapa)

As we set foot off the overnight train at 5:30 in the morning, with a good night sleep in our system, we made our way outside of the train station to be approach and harassed by 5 or 6 people asking us if we wanted taxis/mini buses. We persisted on the street across the road to put our big bags on the ground and escape from the chaos.

One problem which we were about to face was created by the accommodation people who had failed to contact any hostels and had nothing booked...This is not a good idea when you have 22 people who need a bed and a shower. Luke and Ellis copped a bit of s*** from the team for this, however they were soon on the phone calling a hostel using one of the taxi drivers mobile phones (Ed. The accommodation people also failed to charge the team phone so this was dead and exasperated the whole situation we found ourselves in!). Luke and Ellis managed to save face by booking an amazing hostel which happened to be run by some Australians (The Hanoi  Backpackers Hostel). I think Luke and Ellis had booked a winner. As we made our way to our accommodation the boys had booked that morning, we all had our fingers crossed it was a good one. When the group arrived, the atmosphere was amazing and as the accommodation boys got the keys for the rooms the rest of the team waited outside hopping for the rooms to be clean and nice. As the girls’ room was not yet ready they put their bags in storage on the fifth floor and the rest of us gathered around the pool table also on the same floor to plan what we could do for the rest of day.

We still of had a lot of things to do as we set tasks for everyone that had to be done by 1 in the afternoon. After all the jobs had been completed we set off on a walking tour of Hanoi with Miss Nottle and Narakorn leading us through the city. It’s probably worth mentioning what Hanoi city is like...It is certainly the busiest city we’ve been in, with bikes, mopeds and scooters going in every direction pavements (filled with parked motorbikes) made getting around rather risky, so much so that the staff imposed a limit on where we were allowed to go. We stopped to have lunch at a French influenced cafe, which served amazing cakes and coffees. We were in there for about an hour enjoying a lovely lunch. After we finished we continued walking all the way back to the hotel through the scary streets of Hanio. The team was so excited over the prospect of Nacos that most ordered them for dinner that night at the hostle, however they where tasteless and bland.

The next day in Hanoi started off with a lie in, best day ever! We slowly got up and went shopping at a large Mall however, when we got there we found that most of the shops were closed and that included the money exchange, but it did have one of the biggest arcades we have ever seen (Ed. they lead a sheltered life in Perth folks). We managed to spend two and a half hours on rides and games while a bunch of the team (the girls and Cliff) watched twilight (Ed. I like Chick Flicks ...Alright!!? lol). After about all the gaming one can do in a day (on a small budget at least), we spilt ways, Luke, Mat, Mickalea Johnson and Nottle going to the Army museum and the rest went to prison.

Let me say that some made a better choice than others. The Army museum was cool with loads of weapons, traps and guns (some bigger than Kyle’s). We spent a few hours looking at the history of the nation and some cool traps, then it got into the Vietnam War. When we got back to the hotel we discovered that the others had a less enjoyable experience at the prison, most saying that it was small and boring, although “informative”. . However not long after we had to venture back out to find dinner and after being led through the busy streets for 10 minutes by Mathew and Caitlin which felt like years dodging mopeds and bikes, we found a place to enjoy dinner.

The team then voted on who would receive the five shirts given to us by the Google hotel. The results:

  • Most helpful and supportive, Mat

  • Teachers choice, Cassidy (Ed. what a star!!! :-))

  • Best leader, Shay (Ed. she mothers us all!)

  • Most positive, Ellis

  • Most organised, Caitlin

After dinner we sat around enjoying the atmosphere of the traffic light party going on at the hostel (Ed. I didn't know what one of these was!), before grabbing some taxis to the train station and setting off on our over night train to Sapa to begin our main trek.

By Luke and Mat.

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