We arrived in Hanoi after a 2 flight on the plane from Hong Kong. The take off was fine, altho we had been warned we may be cruising through skyscapers, it was ok. The landing however, was a different story. We were coming down but there was no runway or airport for that matter! Then when we saw what looked like a runway it was like the pilot changed his mind and went up again. It came down really hard & took ages to break. I wasn't looking but Charlie said it was really scary & everyone breathed a sigh of relief when we came to a stop! We were picked up at the airport but someone from our hostel & the drive there was just as freaky! The traffic was like Beijing but instead of pushbikes it was full of motorcycles, all weaving in & out of each other. The buildings are really tall & thin & looked quite french.
We had a nice hotel room & the guy at the hotel booked us a couple of trips so we only had one day to explore Hanoi. We went up to West Lake & got a Swan shaped peddalo out & went up to a cafe overlooking a busy street in the centre of Hanoi. It is so much cheaper here than China & I think it will only get cheaper until we get to Thailand. As Charlie had bought a suit we went & got an outfit for me. We thought it was really cheap until we realised the price was in US Dollars & not Dong! Oh well! We also got duped on the "fruit scam" where they run up to you & put the fruit baskets on your shoulders & the hat & get you to take a picture & then won't let you go until you buy some fruit!