Three days in one blog post, say what?
I’m sorry everyone, I know that three day posts can feel like a drag (that’s why I stopped doing them), but I’m currently playing catch up. Hopefully it’s worth it anyway!
Day 308 – Sunday 26th March 2017
This morning we arrived in Hanoi at 6am, then walked for half an hour to Central Backpackers Original Hostel, where we weren’t able to check in until midday. They let us put our bags into storage though, and let us join in on the free breakfast too, then suggested that we take the walking tour at 10:30, which we did.
Stops along the way included St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hoan Kiem Lake, Giang Cafe (home of Hanoi’s famous ca phe trung/egg coffee) and Dong Xuan Market, the largest market in Hanoi:
We finally checked into our dorm at around 15:00 after stopping for lunch with a few of the others who joined us on our walk, then spent a pretty long time being lazy in our dorm and getting to know our new room mates. Anyway, it wasn’t until the evening that the fun really started!
We went downstairs to the bar at our hostel, where they served free beer for an hour between 19:00 and 20:00. The endless supply of watered down draft beer was probably enough for one evening, but we didn’t stop there, because at Central Backpackers Old Quarter Hostel (our sister hostel) the free beer started again at 22:00 and carried on until the barrel was empty.
On a scale of one to drunk I’d say that I was at least a bit tipsy, but didn’t take it too far. One guy in our room went all out though, had to be carried home, then ended up throwing up in the bin. Classic!
Day 309 – Monday 27th March 2017
Abbie and I were the first of eight in our dorm to wake up this morning, but that’s only because we didn’t want to miss breakfast. The others in our room were either too hungover after a night of drinking, or too sleepy after being kept up by those who were stayed up until the early hours.
Our first (only only considerable) stop of the day was at the Vietnamese Women’s Museum, where it was great to see how much recognition females get in Vietnam, not only at home, but at work and at war too. Abbie even stopped to pose as a local street trader as we walked around:
For lunch we had a Banh Mi (pronounced bang me, ha!) Sandwich, consisting of minced pork meatballs, pate, jalapenos, coriander, cucumber, pickled carrots, white reddish and mayonnaise, like something from Subway but more authentic.
After eating we wandered aimlessly for about an hour and got ourselves pretty lost, so had to turn around and retrace our footsteps to find our way back to the hostel.
Other than that our afternoon/evening was almost exactly the same as yesterday, but this time included a meal between beers, which seemed to do us the world of good. In fact, everybody managed to walk home on their own at the end of the night and nobody vomited either, so yeah I’d say it was pretty successful!
Day 310 – Tuesday 28th March 2017
Today was our last full day in Hanoi, so we woke up early and set out to get as much done as possible, starting with a trip to Hoa Lo Prison, or what remains of it at least. Although the prison itself was demolished back in 1990 the Gatehouse is to this day open as a museum, where a particularly impressive monument now stands in memory of those who were incarcerated and killed under French colonial rule of Indochina:
We walked from there to the Lenin Statue, then carried on to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (the final resting place of Vietminh leader Ho Chi Minh) and the Presidential Palace:
We tried to take a shortcut back to the hostel which resulted in getting lost and walking around for ages, but Hanoi is an absolutely beautiful place so we didn’t mind in the slightest. In fact we even missed the free beers, but that was hardly the end of the world – a night off now and then never hurt anybody did it?