Arriving in Hanoi

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The flight lasted around 2 hours. I like Air Asia as they use Airbus where I feel quite safe. Landing in Hanoi we immediately noticed the difference with Thailand. Much poorer country. We went to let our visas being validated. Nino went first. As he finished with all administrative papers I noticed the guy could not stop looking at her. As he was taking care of my passport he asked me whether Nino was my wife. I answered yes (I prefer avoiding saying she is my girl friend since I watched the film “Green diamonds” with Michael Douglas). Then he told me she was a very lovely woman.
I found the compliment very nice. Actually in Tanzania, many people were looking at Nino. I had never seen that for anyone, being so much observed. People tended to stop what they were doing just to look at her. Furthermore I very often heard women saying: “She is beautiful”:-) I had told her she should apply for miss Tanzania 🙂
In Thailand, the phenomenon was not as extreme as it was in Tanzania. However, again many people made similar compliments. Hence I proposed Nino to apply for miss Thailand too 🙂 Arriving in Vietnam, again such a nice compliment… I can say I am lucky to be with an international beautiful woman 🙂
We took a taxi from the airport. We said we wanted to go to Oscar Hotel. The taxi driver said OK no problem. He drove 30 to 40 minutes and as we arrived to an hotel a guy came explaining that all double rooms were already booked but as he had other hotels he would drive us to the next hotel and give us a similar room. I asked him whether he was from Oscar Hotel and he said yes. We were somehow confused and after a night with very few sleep we did not like that much the joke. But OK, we went and as we arrived a second guy welcoming us apologized for the problem many times and proposed me to show me the room. We had a look and I must say the room was really beautiful much more than what I expected. The guy then asked me for the reservation number. I had to start my PC as I had not printed it out. Then he said: “Ah you booked in the Oscar hotel … this is not Oscar hotel”. Again many excuses and he proposed me to call a taxi he would pay to bring us to our real hotel. As the taxi arrived despite he had promised me to pay, he asked me whether I could pay the taxi … then I became kind of angry. I refused and he paid himself. The taxi drove us to our hotel which is located in a poorer area: very nice and typical area. The room is not as nice as the one of the wrong hotel but far better than all rooms we had since we are traveling. It costs around 11 Euros including breakfast. In Bangkok we had paid 9 Euros for the room and 2 euros for the breakfast. However, here we have here a very nice bathroom whereas in Bangkok there was only common shower and common toilets.

On the 30th of October we went walking around visiting Ha Noi. We saw a few temples. The difference with Bangkok is that they seem much more authentic. Bangkok has very nice temples but the look somehow kitsch whereas Hanoi has very old ones carrying many centuries of history.