Toot! Toot! Toooooot! Toooooot!
Day 45 - 18/11/09 - Chiang Mai & Bangkok (Thailand) & Hanoi (Vietnam)
Today was going to be a busy day - we needed to catch 2 planes, ending up in Hanoi, Vietnam. After our last breakfast with Rhys & Erica, we checked out, said our goodbyes and caught a taxi to the airport. It was very strange to be going from 4 to 2 after 6 weeks together!
We got to Chiang Mai airport and wrapped our bags. Our first flight was domestic to Bangkok and the second was international to Hanoi. Our 2 big bags were checked in so they would transfer planes automatically and we would just have to pick them up in Hanoi, but as we were flying with Thai & Air France, we would have to "transfer check in" in Bangkok to get a boarding pass for the second flight.
Our first flight was quick and good, but we spent some time at Bangkok airport trying to find the "transfer check in". When we finally arrived at the check in they told us it was closed as it closes an hour before boarding - eek. Our first flight only landed just over an hour before the next flight, so it would have been impossible to make the check in before the second flight. They understood and then gave us our boarding passes and told us to run to the plane so we rushed and were two of the last people to get on board. The flight was okay, but was a bumpy landing.
It was lucky that we checked in at Chiang Mai as international and went through customs there, as there is no way we would have made it through customs at Bangkok with the time we had.
When we arrived in Hanoi, we went through customs, picked up our wrapped bags and looked for some English signs about what to declare. We couldn't find any, so asked some people behind the quarintine desks. They shooed us through, not interested in what we had.
The traffic here is crazy. We are pretty sure its more crazy than what China was. Our driver drove on the wrong side of the road toward oncoming traffic, there are hundreds of bikes all over the place, no one obeys sinage, randomly our driver would indicate for no reason, or put on his hazards! As we write this people are still tooting their horns, it just doesn't stop.
Day 46 - 19/11/09 - Hanoi (Vietnam)
Happy 1st Birthday Cailee!
This morning we had our first hotel breakfast which was not buffet style, it was ordered from a menu. We then watched some tv and relaxed before going for a walk around the local streets and Thien Quang Lake to find some lunch.
We estimate that the roads are filled with about 80% bikes (bicycles and motorbikes) and about 20% cars.
The traffic barely has any gaps in it, and there are only traffic lights at some intersections (not that that always mattered). We have found that the best way to get across the streets is to just walk and dodge, but you need to steer clear of the cars and just let the bikes dodge you!
This afternoon we went for another walk and ended up at Hoan Kiem Lake. We then found a supermarket for some drinks and snacks. On the way back to the hotel, we stopped in at a market which had lots of clothing, live fish, chopped up fish and other various meats (Jess could not get out of the food section fast enough!).
Another walk led us to dinner at Pepperonis where Jess had a really yummy parma and Scotty enjoyed a spaghetti bake.
Take care - Jess & Scotty