VIETNAM (Hanoi: the capital city)Â Â My feelings for Vietnam have somewhat been tainted due to the fact that when I was to arrive at the airport from ny flight from Luang Prabang in Loas, I was approached by a taxi driver who asked me where I wanted to go: I told him the name of the guesthouse where Phil was staying, and he agreed to take me there for like $10. Howvere, on the way, he said that I was required to pay the government toll tax before we could enter the part of the city that I was going to. Having read this was the case in The Lonely Planet, I agreed. Next. , he said I had to pay for petrol, and again I agreed! As I was niave, and foolishly hadnt familiarised myself with the exchange rate: I ended up being ripped off and paid something around the region of $120 USD for a f***ing cab! I am so so so pissed off, but I am more mad at myself as he knew that I didn?t have a clue and preyed on my vulnerability! Therefore, I have concluded that most of the Vitnamese like to rip of foreigners! Far more so than in Loas and Thailand!
Â Â Â Anyway, apart from that I have had a really good time so far: and the majority of the Vietnamese people are very kind and friendly.
Â When I arrived Phil was lasi up ill in bed. And when I say ill: I am not talking about a little bout of the s***s, but he was seriously suffering from something awful. He said that his head was aching so bad that the pain was makng him be physically sick: he truly looked awful. He ate nothing but bananas for days. I eventually persuaded him to come out and have a bowl of soup with me. He reluctantly agreed, and we took a very slow walk to ?Minh?s Jazz Bar? where he consumed a bowl of leak and potato soup.Â He managed to eat it all after I insisted that he was to eat something with far more nutritional value in it than just purely bananas. Mariculously, and not surprisingly I was right: after the soup Phil seemed to perk up, and e both agreed to take a walk around the city of Hanoi.
Â Â We went to see the ?Water puppets?, which is a show that uses puppets on the water to tell little stories: fables and legends etc. It was very funny, and so well done. I took some good pics of that. Then we just took a wander. That night we both went to eat at the same Jazz bar as in the daytime. Again Phil had soup, but this time he went all out and ordered a glass of red wine! He was definitely on the mend.
Â Â The next day we both went to Hao Lo Prison museum, which was very very interesting. It was one of the worst prisons in the whole of Indo-china during the Vietnam war. Next we went to the wome?s museum. And I have to say, honestly I was bored out of my brains. So i sat outside whilst Phil finished the exhibition and I read my book.
Â Â The past few days I havent done much: pure;y due to the fact that I am not very well now: I have a fever, a cold and diaorrhea, plus I have an excruciating stomach ache and continually get pains throughout the day: I dunno, maybe it?s MALARIA!! Lol
Â Â On Saturday night, I was persuaded to go to the Nightclub: ?New Generation? but Michelle and Wills: 2 Danish girls that we met in Phonsovan (and Phil travelled with to Hanoi), it was pretty cool actually. Phil decided to have an early night seen as he still wasn?t 100%. So it was just a girls night out. The place was very swarve: and the interior was made to look like the inside of an aeroplane! It was far superior to the ?discoteques? that we have been to so far in Thailand and Laos. I wasn?t even allowed to take in my camera, that?s how swanky this place was. The Vietnamese have no sense of rhythm. They simply cannot dance at all: we figured that much out when we had loads of them dancing around us trying to copy the ?western dance moves,? but it was still pretty funny all the same. And I have to admit: The Vietnamese men are simply fine: they are so so good looking, there is definitely something about their squared jaws and the way they smile at you and say ?Hello madam, How you today??: Pretty cute.
Â Anyway, today we are heading to Sapa, we are to catch the ?night train? from Hanoi this evening at about 9pm, and look forward to the 12hour train ride that awaits us and the 2 Dutch girls that we intend to travel with for a while because they are great fun.
Â For now, I shall leave it there......