Day 38: Hanoi, Vietnam

20/12/2006

Today was te first real day of sight seeing, beginning the day early with Rosh meeting up to go to Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum*, however you spell it. It’s pretty much the body of Ho Chi Minh and you get to see the great job that Madam Tussaud did – that was the running joke anyway :). We were greeted with a complex set of rules, Jeremy getting the brunt of them – don’t talk too loud, no bags, no big bags, keep walking, get your hands out of your pockets, and the soldiers made sure that you kept in line with those rules! All those rules and you got to see him for a grand total of 2 minutes – keep walking…

The complex also incorporated a museum – the museum of propanda, with displays beating to the tune of “we were a quiet, peaceful and tranquil city.. until *BANGGGG* them American’s came” hehe. I couldn’t help but laugh. On the way out we saw the One Pillar pagoda – where apparently Ho Chi Minh lived and then decided to grab lunch – where we were ferried off in a stop watch cabbie, that’s right, where the meter runs like a stop watch, even when you stop it will keep ticking over! We demanded we get off as he drove 30km/h.

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After lunch we went to the Museum of ethnology, it was pretty interesting learning about the subsidy economy and the living conditions of locals through the ages. We got bored and went back home to rest up before we hit the nigh – we also booked our trip for Halong Bay and our flights through the city.

The night was crazzzyyy, our first experience of Bia Hoi and.. KEBABS! hehe We had some awesome kebabs in turkish bread, it was great! Bia Hoi is the local beer, where you get one cup and it keeps refilling, the beauty of it? 16 cent beer! It was here where we met Don, ex-president of a frat house, now working in a private equity firm in England – so random! Rosh and I stayed out quite late, we eventually got home around 1, when the curfew in Hanoi starts and all beer sellers must close.

Day 37: Hanoi, Vietnam

19/12/2006

Jem and I got up early and went straight to the hospital to see Manny, but the Dr told us to come back later because she still wasn’t better. Manny insisted that we did our own short tour of the city. Well, we just went to see The Huc Bridge:

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We shopped around for a bit, and decided to have lunch from, A LITTLE WOMAN WHO HAD BUN RIEU!!! I had 2 bowls, it was really really really good! We then went to a department store – stuff was expensive, worked out to be the same as back home – but the cosmetics section had some great scenery hehe. We went back to the hospital and they had cleared Manny and she was allowed to leave. So an MRI scan and Spinal Tap later, her $2500US bill – we walked back to the hotel. On our way back, we were crossing the road when this guy started crossing the road when we were – hehe he was a Melbournian named Rosh! On the walk back home we decided to meet up at night for dinner and some drinks. We went back to the hostel, fell asleep and got up ready to go out! We had dinner at some random place and then hit the pool parlour. Some bogans had joined us, and after the pool we went to some night clubs. They were crap as, filled with guys trying to sell stuff and skanky women that just wanted your dong, both kinds of dong. Not my cup of tea, nor was it Rosh’s, so the two of us left early – New Century night club!

Day 36: Hanoi, Vietnam

18/12/2006

Manny had woken up this morning still complaining of a massive headache which she had got the day before, so we decided to FORCE her to go to the hospital, and as unwilling as she was, we convinced her to go – even in her PJs. We didn’t have to wait long until she was admitted into an ER room and we didn’t know what was going on. Sitting around for a few hours and a few diagnosis’ later, they couldn’t figure out what was wrong – conditions such as Dengue Fever, Japanese Encephilitis, Meningitis. They couldn’t pin point it so they just threw her into monitoring. and we decided to walk around the city. My first pho experience in Vietnam:

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Yes, I ate a lot, but they’re not as big as back home. We strolled around the city heaps and I realised that economics from high school was right, the streets of Hanoi are perfect competition, as each street concentrates in sales of tin boxes, silks, glasses, watchs, etc.

After we did the walking around to get a feel for the city, we went back to see Manny, but she wasn’t in good shape and had to stay over night. We had Pho for dinner and hit the DVD stores! heh – Yes, officially addicted to DVDs

Day 35: Luang Prabang, Laos & Hanoi, Vietnam

17/12/2006

We got up pretty late this morning from a massive farewell night in Luang Prabang, which was an AWESOME night. We nursed our hangovers with some great breaky across the road from our guesthouse (I had the BEST noodle soup, I guess Laos saved the best for last). So we sat there for an hour or so having breaky and a good chat before we saw each other off. I think that this group of travel companions had been the best in my whol trip! Farken Sveden heh. I got the classic looks from people.

Hersh: “Good times”

The 'Hersh' look

Random Svede for dead, sick, tired, drunk:

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Jem, Manny and I made our way across to the airport for our flight to Hanoi, what a sight, every flight was delayed, ours was delayed for… FIVE FRIGGEN HOURS. Lucky we weren’t the only ones:

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We sat at the airport and killed time with a book, sleep and watching some random hindi movie on Jem’s ipod. The plane having ‘Technical difficulties’ worried the hell out of us, the Laos airline flight NOT HAVING JET ENGINES!!!