Vietnam Day 1

Day Touring Hanoi

as a result of Day 0’s early bed time, I awoke about 4am local time, and started getting myself ready for what would be my only day in The Capital of Vietnam, ¬†shortly afterwards i enjoyed a ¬†fantastic free breakfast buffet as part of my accomadation deal,

See First course below.

After Breakfast, I strapped on my GoPro and headed off for a ¬†walk around the city’s old Quarter.

Along the way i bought a very nice Canvas painting of Hanoi Bay.Felt guilty trying to negotiate so payed the sticker price,  not sure  hagglings my thing.

After purchasing my rather unique painting of Halong Bay,not long after I got stopped by a group of  tourists whom asked for 5 minutes of my time to perform a video interview.  I happily complied,  and on the 2nd take i think we aced it.

The local traffic in the capital is as ridiculous as you’d ¬†expect “I got ¬†some pretty good footage of me “playing chicken/frogger” with some of the scooter traffic using my waist mounted camera, which i’ll go through later because the internet here varies from about poor to terrible in most parts.

After checking out a few more stores and buying a local SIM after walking right around the cities lake, I headed for home using the trusty “Google maps”. ¬†Thankfully i’d had the forsight to ¬†download the whole map of Hanoi for Offline viewing, because by the end of my travels i had myself hopelessly lost” ¬† and i hadn’t¬†been able to activate my SIM yet.

Underground Mega Mall

I arrived back at my Hotel just in time to Check Out and Sort a Taxi to the Royal City -Mega Mall “apparantly the largest underground Mall in all of Asia.” ¬† Before I caught the Train to Hue (my next stop) later that night.

The Mall is far larger than anything i’ve encountered in NZ and the fact its all underground kind of gives it a ¬†bit of a unique feel. ¬†The many footcourt areas (yes, there’s multiple), had practically every type of food style I could think of, ¬†it probably had it all actually, there was just no way, I could find them all in one afternoon. ¬†After stopping off for lunch at KFC (the only time I havn’t had local cuisine) I stumbled accross an¬†entire waterpark contained within, i’d ¬†read about this online prior, so i had to investigate further, ¬†the locker ¬†systems they have there is quite trendy but took some getting used to., and ¬†I couldn’t work out the instructions for ¬†most of the rides, so ¬†just did what the guy/or gal did in front of me and was fine.

One thing to note, ¬†this Waterpark had the slipperiest floors i have ever encountered, i don’t know how many times i managed to catch myself “somehow” but the number of times it happened and the distance I covered at times, ¬†made me think i should try my hand at the Ice skating rink right next door. ¬†thankfully common sense prevailed and instead I decided to grab my GoPro ‘in its waterproof housing” and see how much footage of this waterpark I could get.

Having been on every ride and exhausting my GoPro’s battery, eventually i came out of ¬†the waterpark and continued walking around the “did i mention” Huge Underground Mall, ¬†that just seemed to have everything if you knew where to look.

Then¬†when my legs where finally sick of all the walking “not really, my new shoes where chaffing” still well before I needed to be at the train Station, I chanced my arm and tried to ¬†find a taxi on the side of the Street. “every other taxi i’d had my accomadation sort for me”

but ¬†immediately before that I took this ¬†footage just outside the Mall “Royal City”

having picked one of the good Taxis it seems, ¬†i arrived back at my hotel with still 2 and a bit hours to kill before i was due to catch my Train, so the Hotel ¬†staff asked me if I felt like a Traditonal Vietnemese massage and promptly¬†recommended a massaus nearby, ¬†I had a very relaxing¬†50 mins Massage “oils and everything” which was probably a very good call, because the Train Ride to My Next Hotel was 13hrs in a 4 sleeper cabin, where the beds wern’t quite long enough to accomadate my height, and the train sways more than you would like.

Overnight  Train To Hue

Unfortunatly as a result of My Vietnemese Massage and subsequent delays getting back to the station I didn’t exactly arrive with plently of time to find my Train. ¬† Thankfully one of the local lads helped me out and I ¬†tipped him quite generously as a result. ¬†And added bonus of having him carry y luggage for me also was when we arrived at my designated carriage, to find someone in my assigned bed, he was able to explain to me that the woman sitting there wasn’t able to climb to¬†her assigned ¬†“top ¬†bunk” bed and as my ticket was for a¬†bottom bunk in the adjacent cabin, she wanted to know if I minded swapping.

I Didn’t and as a result I ended up meeting 2 great fellow Tourists from London, whom i chatted with for most of the journey.

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