We arrived in Hanoi about 6am on our last bus in Vietnam (which we are both pleased to say) we will not be missing the aggressive drivers and constant near misses with other vechiles! The bus dropped us off in the middle of no where and a guy came on the bus who we presumed to work with the company and said he would take us to the hotel. We belived him, so off we went, what we didnt realise is he was taking us to a very erxpensive hotel in a taxi that he expected us to pay for if we didnt book their room! Realising this we made a quick exit and didnt pay anything. One drama following another as usual, another guy offered us a room in his hotel it was cheap and clean so we said yes, it was only later on in the day that we realised his terms and conditions. We took a walk and booked a tour to halong bay, when we arrived back at the hotel the guy came up to our room and told us we had 15mintues to leave the hotel as we didnt book the tour with him (bearing in mind his tour wasnt all that great). So with him holding our passports to ransom he demanded we pay money for the couple of hours we had the hotel, obviously we refused to pay as he hadnt told us we could only have the room if we booked a tour, eventually after much disagreement we left with our passports and we didnt give him any money. With that all finished we quickly found another hotel that had no hidden terms and conditions, we left for halong bay the next day (and you can read all about that in another blog). Arriving back in Hanoi for another 2 days, we spent the first day seing the sights which consisted of Ho Chi Minh's Body and Ho Chi Minh's Museum. Going to see the body was really interesting as strict rules were put in place, no legs or arms showing, no glasses, no hats, no speaking, arms by your sides, no stopping and staring at the body and we had to keep a soleum demeanor at all times, all this so as not to disrespect Ho Chi Minh. What shocked us most was that we were doing our best not to be disrespectful, yet its them who have diesrespected him the most, in Ho Chi Minh's will he stated he wanted to be cremated when he died yet they have completely disobed that wish in order to put his body on show for tourism! After this we went to the museum and saw all the good work Ho Chi Minh had done and saw how all those around him endearingly called him uncle Ho even though he was the president. It was great to see how much the Vietnamese were proud of their President and the actions he took during the war with the French.
During the evening we went to the water puppet theatre as we had heard it was really good. we paid for the good seats as it was only just over a pound! Before the performance we got to hear some traditional live folk music which was great. The performance consisted of a mini story, even though any words said were in Vietnamese we understood the story quite well. The talent of the people who actually move the puppets was amazing and at the end they came out from behind their screen which was great as then the audience cheered and clapped really loudly for them! (take a look at the videos).
Well today is our last day in Vietnam and we have loved it here soooooooooo much! We have had such an eventful time and have seen and done more than we could have imagined. One thing adam forgot to mention in the blog about Halong Bay is that when the guy on the boat fell and hurt himself the Vietnamese were going to use their own way of healing instead of taking him to a hospital, this was to put tobacco and alcohol directly in the wound so as to clot the blood! Dont know about anyone else but i sure wouldnt want alcohol in an open wound that big! Screaming no at the Vietnamese people we eventually got through to them that he needed a hospital! Thankgod!
We are off to Thailand today and are really looking forward to it so we are just spending the day chilling before our evening flight. Keep in touch everyone, more messages on the board please!!!!!!!!!
Miss you all
Adam and Sam x x x x