Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 65 Tue 31/08 - Rest Day in Downtown Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Today Weather : 28 -36C   Sunny all Day
Today Spend : 248000vnd    Total : 871000vnd

I was reminding myself yesterday not to fall asleep totally,but only managed to hold my eyes until 1 am and woke up early 5 am by many morning exercise people. They set up net to play badminton, arobic dance and tai chi and also many morning walks around the lake. Everything looks ok before I discovered that my new sleeper was swapped by someone, luckily only the sleeper, nothing else lost. Yesterday even the ice cream seller is trying to con me by overcharging for an ice cream and a bottle of soft drink. I gave 100000 note, and got back a change of 70000. I knew these things won't cost more than 20000, I demanded my money back, he returned 5000. I refused to give in and then he returned another 5000.You see how sickening when you deal with them when they don't speak a word of English. You won't face the same problem if you are in a touristic area in Hoan Kiem where most shops and stalls understand and speak English. Deal or no deal? the choice is yours. With the help of a kind local Canadian, I found the way to Hoan Kiem and settled in a Friendly Hotel for Usd 8, washed and cleaned before continue my sleep in a comfortable bed. Went for a walk in the afternoon around the lake and bought a ticket 40000vnd for a Vietnamese water puppets show. Also booked a Halong Bay Heritage cruise for 3 days and 2 nights for Usd 42.

Checked into this Friendly Hotel in the morning
Room on the 3rd Floor USD 8
Western outlets complex around Hoan Kiem

Colourful flowers decoration around the Lake
A bridge across the lake

Public toilet 1000vnd per entry
Cafe corner
Historical gate
Some Chinese influnce in Hanoi
Wedding couple photograhing around the Lake

Chinese temple leading to an island in the lake

Another kind of vietnamese street food
My proper dinnercost 50000vnd ( Rm 10)
Art paintings
Sovenier shops

Water puppet theather hall
Men behind the bamboo curtain controlling the movement of the puppets

The actors behind the curtain.

Day 64 Mon 30/08 - Thanh Hoa to Hanoi ( Longest Ride on a Flat )

Today Distance : 165.3 km     Total : 3509.6 km
Today Weather : 28 - 36C     Sunny all Day
Time on Bike : 8 hr  01 min
Ave Speed : 20.6 kmh    Max : 40.0 kmh
Ave Climb : 1%    Max : 4%
Trip Altitude : 266 m    Max : 121 m
Today Spend : 81000vnd      Total : 623000vnd

Yesterday's decision to take a bus to Hanoi turn out unsucessfully. The reason again due to the bus conductor charging excessively.A normal ticket cost 60000vnd, and they want 300000vnd, just because my bike occupy the back row of 5 seats. I countered offer with 120000vnd, they refused and unload everything from the bus. I understand why they are angry, but me too. The problem is he make "don't know" when I kept asking how much before the bike was loaded to the bus.Fed up with the unhappy dealing with the Vietnamese conductors ( bus leave every half an hour). I decided to ride again and happy that the weather seemsto be on my side, sunny all the way to Hanoi! The traffic on this flat Asian Highway 1 ( AH 1) very heavy with so many buses and trucks pilling up and down on a single lane full of pot holes,dust and sharp stones.From Phu Ly, the road became better on dual carriage way and I am able to increase my speed. By 6.30pm rode into Hanoi and get caught in a sea of motorcycles. Without any map to refer, I gave up after searching for direction to Hoan Kiem Old quater. I ended up spending a night in a lakeside park after failing to find a budget guest house. There is a public toilet for me to clean and change my clothing for 5000vnd. For the 1st time, I am sleeping on a 4 ft long stone chair without my tent, under a bright half moon night.

Vietnamese Le Loi Statue in Thanh Hoa
Vietnamese Chee Cheong Fun
Taste good
On the way to Hanoi on Asian Highway 1
Tunnel crossing 50m long
Side by side with the railway line
Hanoi 93 km to go
Still in the process of widening the road-very dusty
Guess how many ducks here-no price for the correct answer
Vietnam famous road side drinks/smoke stalls
Caught in the motorbikes jammed in Hanoi