Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ending 2009 in Hanoi.

The final two days of 2009 we spent in Hanoi, having returned via the overnight train from Sapa. We arrived early in the morning to deserted streets and a slight drizzle. We made our way to the hotel and dropped off our bags, they told us that they could probably have a room ready for us around 08:00 - so we could take a much needed shower and change. We took a short stroll and loitered at a few different coffee shops before heading back to the hotel and finding out that maybe they could get us into a room by 10:00. Initially we had figured that we wouldn't get into a room before 14:00, but they teased us with the initial 08:00 time, and then the 10:00, so we never really wandered too far away. At ten they told us maybe by noon and we gave up on the idea of having an early shower before wandering and so we just went off to explore the city... Somewhere after 15:00 we returned to the hotel and check in, a nice long shower later we were much refreshed and off to wander some more before heading over to La for a nice dinner. The next day we managed to get over to the war museum, and stroll some other areas that we hadn't been through yet. Overall it was just a nice relaxing day despite the weather being somewhat gray and always threatening with a light drizzle. For our New Year's Eve dinner we wandered over to the street vendors that we had enjoyed when we first came to Vietnam over two years ago. This time we were prepared for the mess of the spattering oil when cooking and went out dressed in clothing we knew we were going to leave here in Hanoi. After dinner we made our way to the street corner where small chairs are set out and people drink local beers for about 3 US cents a glass. The kegs didn't seem this fresh this time so we upgraded to the 0.50 USD bottles of Tiger beer. There were a few people out partying, and since we all had different times on our watches we ended up counting down to midnight at least 3 times over a 10 minute period. Shortly after we celebrated the last of our multiple entries into 2010 the store we were at closed - for everyone there it wasn't a big holiday, just another Thursday night and they just wanted to go home and to bed...

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