Smooth Arrival into Hanoi
At the airport in Laos heading to Hanoi, Vietnam. Meet this guy, he was rated in the top 10 at one time when he was lean and mean and “cowboyed-up” on the rodeo circuit. Sat and talked and sat with him at airport (he’s been to about 60 countries). The man travels light. I thought I traveled light.
Landed in Hanoi, driver met us at the gate and that’s always a good sign. Got to the hotel about 10AM, room wasn’t ready can’t check in till 2PM. Left our luggage and went out sightseeing.
“Hanoi Hilton” AKA Hao Los Prison
Saw (St. Joseph) a big beautiful Catholic church. A short distance away took a tour of the infamous Hoa Lo Prison, commonly referred to sarcastically as the “Hanoi Hilton” by the hundreds of American prisoners, who some spent as many as 6 years there.
Told Jeanette that they will slant the war in their [Vietnam] favor. And they really got on the Fench for there participating in there war with Vietnam. Saw Senator John McCain’s flight suit that he was wearing after being shot down during the U.S. Vietnam conflict.
Left and walked over to the war memorial, where American aircraft left over from the war are on display. Remember some of them well.
Practicing English with the Locals
Got back to the hotel about 7:30-8PM after walking around the lake (which you can do in 30 minutes). Jeanette was checking out about 10 elderly ladies standing in a line doing small taps and massage therapy to each other. I was just sitting there and a young college kid comes up and asked if I spoke english and wants to practice his english. Pretty soon we had 3 of them practicing their english.
Nice kids and its pretty common for them to approach you and want to talk or take a picture with you. Got back to the hotel and they were wondering what happened to us. You only get so much daylight in a day use it. Next day we had a tour of world famous HaLong Bay.
The World Famous HaLong Bay
Met James and Helen from Britian on the 3 1/2 hr. ride out to the bay. Went to see a beautiful bay with small pointed islands (1900+ of them) pointing out of the sea. Our ship along with about 10 others said around these small islands.
Beautiful sights even of the other ships. Got my first experience kayaking, if we had been a big boat we would of sunk the other Kayaks. Once we got the hang of if, it was a lot of fun and tiring. Food was great and our room was super with a balcony. More to come.
Had a fun night with the karaoke singing (not me) and dancing. Next morning took a tour of the people livinging on the bay.
We (6 of us) were in a row boat and judging from the workout Jeanette and I got from the light weight kayaks these rowers were getting a good workout.
Took up a nice tip for our guy, also had young ladies doing the same thing. Finished our tour and headed back to Hanoi. Said good bye to our new friends James and Helen from Britian who were heading further north to do some hiking. James has some great stories about travelling/backpacking in the U..S. in the 70’s. Told him he should write a book. Promised to keep in contact.
Heading Out To Our Last Stop
One of our daughters friends dad told us about this hotel. Was really nice and the front desk and employees couldn’t ask for better service.
We’re driving in Vietnam with the Tutt-tutt, bicycles (hauling customers), bicycles pedestrians, and cars all vying for the use of the road. Amazing how they get from point A to point B. They do and the cars all look pretty good.
Showed jeanette a place where the homes are so close to the railroad tracks that they have to go indoors when the trains passes. Heading out to our last stop tomorrow. Hong Kong.
XOXO – John