Hanoi is 1 hour behind, which means we gained 1 extra hour that day ;)
And it is unexpectedly COLD!! All these while I was expecting Vietnam's weather to be like in Malaysia, or at least slightly colder, but I've never expect to see people wearing sweater and winter jacket -__-"
And all I had in my luggage were 2 pair of shorts, a few sleeveless tees, a maxi dress and thank god I did bring along 2 jackets, just in case..
After checking out from the airport, we took another 45 minutes ride to Hanoi town by metered taxi which cost us USD15. Vietnam uses mixture of both USD and Dong.
I could see paddy fields and very poluted air along the journey. Most Vietnamese had mask on them and it further proved the air was critically polluted.
We checked into our hotel in Old Quarter and my ex-collegemate Nghiep came over with his wife and 3 year-old baby Phat and off we went for brunch. He brought us to a nice restaurant where another of my ex-collegemate Hung is working as a general manager there.
from left: Hung, moi and the bf, Nghiep's wife and baby Phat, Nghiep
It felt so good to see them again after 4-5 freaking years since we left college! ;)
And guess what, both the bf and I did something really stupid we should just slap each other -_-"
We both took taxi to the restaurant which was like less than 5 minutes away from our hotel and the meter showed "16". So the bf asked the driver, Dollar or Dong? It's either the driver really couldn't converse well in English or he's just acting stupid wtf. He just nodded and said ok! ok! And took USD20 from the bf. We both just arrived and still kinda blur with the situation and couldn't care to think much. The driver returned us 15,000 dong and kept saying ok! ok! and asked us to get down. We both never put much thought to that until much later I asked Nghiep about it and he laughed his lung off ;(
"C'mon Cryst!!! This is Vietnam!! It's 16,000 dong, which is like USD1 only!!! Cryst!!!"
I don't know to laugh or cry..
Our room in Indochina 1 Hotel! The room was exactly the same like what we saw from internet but we never expect it was just a small shoplot -_-" No wonder no photo of the hotel exterior.. but nevertheless, the room was pretty satisfying ;)
Later in the afternoon, we took a cyclo over for a ride around Old Quarter at around USD2 for half an hour. This part of town is just like a large maze of streets with shops selling souvenirs, footwear, bags, silks, clothings, and anything you could think of.. and even coffins!
The traffic in Hanoi is horrible. Each and every space is taken up by motorbikes where each and everyone kept honking non-stop. Got car they honk, no car they also wanna honk. But it's amazing that although there's no proper system, I've yet to witness any accident over my 5 days stay in Hanoi. Not even a minor one.
Pork satay was one of our favourite during the entire trip. How often can you get PORK satay in Malaysia? ;) Never.
And it tasted aweeeeeesommmmmmeeeeee~!!!! :D :D :D
Dogs and cats along the streets were either Pekingese, Chihuahua, Persian or Siamese. No ugly wounded strays like in Malaysia. And they were all damn lanci one..
Many selling balloons by the roadside. But not that kinda balloons where it burst easily. And I wonder how many balloons can they sell one night? 'Cause it seemed like everyone was selling the same thing.
As I was camwhoring along the way, a Vietnamese lady suddenly came over and put this freakingly heavy thing on me together with the ice-cream cone hat -__-" Shocked, but shiok ;) She asked the bf to take my picture and later asked me to take a picture of the bf.
I think he was also shocked, but shiok-lah.
The next thing we knew, she kinda forced us to buy 2 packets of pineapple from her. I forgot how much it cost, but it wasn't cheap. We declined, and told her we will only take a packet.
"NO! 2 people, 2 photos, 2 packets!"
Damn. What a smart way to sell her stuff wtf.
Came across a stall selling noodle and we gave it a try. Not knowing what they serve and there was some communication breakdown, we just showed them 2 fingers and in less than 5 minutes, these were served.
It was ok, but I stopped eating halfway 'cause I couldn't be sure if I was eating dog's meat T__T
This cafe by the junction of a very busy corver served the BEST VIETNAMESE COFFEE! Much more better than Starbucks expresso and much more cheaper..
.. and much more OooOOmmPppPhhHhh~!!!!
Around evening time night market started and we just strolled around hopping to find great bargain for winter jacket. We'll be leaving to Sapa town the next day and was told it's really really cold.
After much digging and bargaining in the extremely crowded night market, things happened.
In less than 3 minutes, I couldn't find the small wallet containing some USD and Dong that I just stucked into my brand new Ms Selfridge bag. Its weird, but I thought probably my bag was just too big and deep it was hidden somewhere in an unreachable corner-lah. We moved to the side and I removed out everything.
2 passports. Check.
The bf's sis' camera. Check.
Wallet with all my IC, license, RM, ATM cards, credit card, discount cards.. Check.
My camera. Eh??.. oh, in my pocket. Check.
Small medicine box. Check.
But the small wallet was nowhere to be found. It's really weird 'cause I've been holding my bag really tightly and it's almost impossible to dig into my deep big bag for that small wallet.
We finally decided to head back to hotel straight and I poured out everything from my bag right away. Flipping in and out again and again but it's really gone. Confirm sudah. I kept thinking how impossible to dig my bag!!! And I even thought if it was my own carelessness probably I dropped it somewhere.
Only after about half an hour, I noticed this.
Blady asshole son of bitch. I'm cursing you to death till today.
No wonder the rest never drop out, 'cause there's an inner lining which he only cut a small hole to get that tiny wallet. wtf.
And he took away another small bag too, containing new Kiehl lipbalm, Sally Hansen hand cream, Clarinase, Travisil and 2 ang kong hu (Buddhist thingy - for safety and protection) I've been keeping since the very first day I came to KL and I felt damn insecure without it now.. T_________T
However, looking at the brighter side, we were lucky enough that both passports did not go missing else I don't dare to think of the consequences. Illegal immigrant from Malaysia wtf. Worse if they suspect me getting into Vietnam for some business. Prostitution double wtf.
Feeling miserable, I decided to dress up the boy.
Later at night, we took a stroll around the infamous Hoan Keim Lake, right in the heart of Hanoi, walking distance from our hotel.
And treated myself with this alcohol over chocolate ice-cream thingy it is HEAVENLY ok!! though the bf said it sucks ;(