20th March 2012
Busy, noisy, dirty, smelly – not the dorm room, but Hanoi. After the tranquility of Sapa it was difficult to stop ourselves from getting annoyed by the pushing and shoving and the manic traffic. No matter, it was not for much longer.
We headed down to breakfast in the Hanoi Backpackers Hostel ground floor and helped ourselves to the free mini baguettes, jam and fruit. As we finished eating we were approached by a girl who had been living with Vietnamese family as part of her year abroad.
“I’m curious,” she said “did you know what this place was like before you came?”
“Yes”, we said, “it was the boys who wanted to come here. We do our best to avoid the mischief from the other residents!”
For instance, last night’s activity had been beer-pong, a game where you had to bounce a ping-pong ball into a glass, if you missed, you had to drink… that says it all, no? Fortunately, all activities, music, etc end at 10pm which is more than reasonable I think.
Breakfast over, we headed out into Hanoi on the hunt for some ethnic clothing for Luca, as we had not found anything for him at the H’mong village or in Sapa. We walked and walked visiting shop after shop but to no avail. Either they did not have children’s clothes, or Luca didn’t like what was on offer.
For nostalgia’s sake we had lunch in Kangaroo Bar and sat and remembered John, Debs and the gang. Then it was back to the hotel to pack all of our gear, again, ready for the flight to Bangkok tomorrow. The boys chilled out in the common room on the 5th floor.
Luca befriended a girl who was making friendship bracelets, and he joined in with her weaving the strands together. Periodically he would appear in the room with a bracelet for one of us, and then disappear again. Oskar was on the PC playing some AGames things and Mateo was playing on the iPad. Mum and Dad were of course doing all of the hard work – no change there then.
As dinner time arrived we went down to the ground floor – it was ladies’ night tonight. There were a few guys hanging by the bar but the girls were all still upstairs getting ready! We left them to it and went back to the restaurant of the previous evening. Although the food was equally as good, the service was more haphazard this time.
We returned to the hotel and despite the protest from Oskar (I want to stay for the festivities) we headed upstairs to brush teeth and bed. There was an early flight tomorrow to Bangkok and we were very much looking forward to the return to Thailand, especially as we had a big surprise for the boys, but more of that in later posts!!!
Tomorrow we will say good morning Vietnam for the last time.