A Travellerspoint blog

Last few hours in Vietnam

drizzle in Hanoi

It's a pretty wet Monday in Hanoi, and I'm really just killing time till my plane leaves at 2330 tonight. I checked out of the Gia to the tune of $93. for 2 nights + cab to No Bai airport. Went over to the wonderful Banh Cuon Ky Dong Restaurant at 11 Tong Duy Tan again for lunch: chicken and mushroom soup, crab spring rolls and shrimp in chili sauce with rice + Bia Hanoi (beer) for only 125K VND. Duc and Thuong turned me on to the place, and this was the third time I was there - excellent, and no other tourists around!

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(Making crepes at the Banh Cuon Ky Dong Restaurant, Hanoi)

Depending on the amount of sleep I get on my flight to Seoul tonight, I plan to take some sort of Transit Tour of Seoul or the Incheon area. They also have a transit hotel at the airport, so if I need sleep, I might be checking in? Incheon is a mega-airport with a regular shopping mall for transit passengers (supposed to be number 2 in the world for passenger comfort/facilities). I'll be exchanging VN Dong for Korean Won before I leave No Bai as VN Dong is useless outside of country. I've given 2 or 3 of the poor/handicapped my extra chump change today.

I guess I'll climb up to the City View to get some tea for my throat soreness now, and maybe try to find a Vietnam News in English to read. I think I've seen enough of the Old Quarter for one vacation. Only had 500 or 600 hawkers approach for cab/motorbike/books today so far - I actually have learned to take it in stride, and now smile my "no".

See you in Oregon, folks!

Posted by Daawgon 11:55 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

The happy face of Vietnam

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(Ho Chi Minh City (Cholon) daily market in Chinatown)

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(A honeymoon couple I met enroute Sapa to Lao Cai)

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(Cute Hmong girls in Sapa Town)

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(My Hanoikids' guides the day we toured the silk village)

Posted by Daawgon 11:53 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Incheon, South Korea

I'm now in my room at the June Hotel at Airport City, Incheon. Asiana gives everyone the option of a free tour or free hotel room w/lunch for all in transit over 8 hours. Problem is that this is not the Transit hotel, but rather outside the airport (meaning I now have ROK immigration stamps in my passport. From the outside, I thought this place would be some sort of dump, but you should see this room (especially the all electronic bathroom: jet tub, steam in the shower w/multiple shower heads and electronic toilet). Korea is pretty cold (it feels like high 40's out this am) - remember, we're darn close to Siberia here!

Hanoi Airport was terrible - hundreds of people sitting on luggage, very pourly signed (I had trouble finding Asiana check-in, and after asking at least 3 people, there it was.) After clearing immigration, I went upstairs for a snack, and the restaurant was a mess too - very pourly run and out of most everything. Then I remembered that I still had dong in my wallet, and searched in vain for an exchange counter. I asked at a duty free counter, and the lady said there was none in airport, but that she could give me dollars for dong, and that's what I did.

The plane was a B767, and fairly old with no in-seat entertainment system. I was seated in the first economy row at the bulkhead (right in the middle of a young Danish family). Asiana FA's bow to the passengers as they commence announcements - really nice. Dinner was ok (I had beef burgundy w/rice and cabernet to drink). This flight was only 3.5 hours compared to 6 hours going into Saigon. We landed about 0515 (or 0315 Hanoi time).

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(Seoul Incheon Airport - Asiana Flight OZ214 to San Francisco with some of the flight's flight attendants)

The B777 to San Francisco was packed, but the fine Asiana attendants made it all very comfortable, and we even arrived a little early with the help of good tail winds.

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Click for these blogs: March 2009 trip and November 2009 trip

Posted by Daawgon 11:51 Archived in Vietnam Comments (1)

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