Wednesday, March 28, 2007

15th Jan - 10th Day (Hanoi)

I arrived in Hanoi very late at night. I took the airport bus and in the same bus were the nice couple below. We decided to stick together as we expect the bus to drop us at some hotel that they have commission. The "bus conductor" kept asking do we have any hotel reservation. Being the alert traveller haha.... we said we had a reservation. Then the bus driver as expected dropped us in some unfamiliar street with lots of locals "preying" us. They're trying to sell us their hotels claiming that theirs is the cheapest etc...

The pics above taken after we checked in into our "fake hotel", we went to the streets junction, Hai Ba Thrung to taste the local beer.
We ended up staying in this hotel, Hanoi Spirit Club Hostel. I remember this hotel is listed in the LP but it's not the same. Hanoi is very interesting as it's a game itself to identify the genuine stuff, being the hotel, restaurants, shops or fake goods. It's a good experience itself. The hotel is charging us USD10/night and the price is quite a norm. The interesting stuff happens in the next morning indeed........
Knowing that I'm not gonna stay more nights in the "fake" hotel, I woke up early in the morning to scout for a better hotel. After a successful scouting, I went back to the hotel to enjoy my breakfast. I greeted the hotel staff and was replied with some negative stares. I wondered why. Then there were some American ladies who came down for breakfast and guess wat? The hotel staff greeted them with such enthusiasm and warmth that can definitely melt the cheese at the very cool weather of Hanoi that morning!!! Upon probing more I found out that the American ladies bought the Ha Long package from them. Now the udang di sebalik batu telah terdedah. It's fine with me though but I just think they should be "less realistic". In addition, I'm being polite all the while! The real blow came later. I checked after I finished my breakfast and they actually asked me to asked the couple above to check out!!! Basically they are chasing us out!
"Ask your friend to check out NOW!!!" That's exactly what they said. Of course I didn't tell them to do so...instead I left a note and asked them to stay in the room till the last minute of check out time. Hope they did that!!!
Taken from the balcony of my USD10 room, featuring the small alley where the fake hotel is located.

Hoan Kiem Lake

The famous turtle : Signature of the Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake taken from the Turtle Temple

The Legendary Turtle in Question

Me at the Entrance of the Turtle Temple

Entrance of the Turtle Temple

Shoe Street (Hang - Street , I forgot what is shoe in Vietnamese)

Shoes in the Shoe Street - Pink Attack

Taken from the 2nd floor of a Coffee shop around the famouos coffee jucntion (refer to LP).

Me in self-indulgent pose, enjoying the nice Vietnamese coffee.

Another nice shot from the coffee shop I like most.

Selling bun anyone?

Apparently Hanoi produced a lot of paper bags. IKEA bag is here too!!!

CNY is near....

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