Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Off To Hanoi!

As usual, my flight via Air Asia was delayed - luckily, this time around it was for an quasi-thankful 1 hour only.

So let me comment first on the Viets - they look very Filipino. Remember that commercial where the OFW tosses his denim jacket from the departure area of the airport? The Viets looke like that, complete with buttons (on the denim jacket) as large as belt buckles. If our promdis looked promdi, they looked the part 10 times more.

I land in Hanoi, and it's a foggy place, with January temperatures hovering around 15 degrees Celsius. I love it!

Watch out for people who will tell you that your hotel is fully booked,, and they will recommend you to a new one. Apparently, scam innovation here has advanced much has it? Take the minibus to town, it cost me just 2 USD, and will bring you right to the heart of the Hoan Kiem Lake District.

Two things I hated with Hanoi: first is the never-ending ride-pimping. "YO CYCLO!" is the local term for "Do you wanna ride?" However, for me, the best way of getting to know the city is on foot. Which leads me to hate-point number two.

The road planning around the city just sucks. The roads change names after intersections, and all of them look the same. I remember walking away from the Flag Tower, eastwards, after an hour of walking, I end up at the west side!! Lame, I know, but I took a cab home instead.

Oh, I know someone who has a pet peeve for kids who have rubber shoes that double as roller skates. Vietnamese flutter by the streets in their motorcycles the same way the kids on rubber shoes-slash-roller skates in malls. In a devil-may-care, do-what-you-like frenzy. The Lonely Planet tip? Walk, don't run. Heck, I've done enough walking for the day.

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