Hello Hanoi and Goodbye Hoi An

Greetings,

What a weird last few days, long story short, haha like that ever happens here. So check this, I’m in a very nice hotel room in Hanoi, Vietnam with 2 new friends I met this evening from Canada. Feels good to be in Hanoi and out of Hoi An.

A weird series of “events” occurred and I was just like “screw this” I am outta here. I was also getting sick of the same people asking me to “buy something”, “have look in my shop”, ” buy something”, “Moto, to the beach?”, “Where you go”, “Boat Ride? 1 hour 1 hour”, “Cold drink, come look at menu” when they had seen me there for 1 solid month, it’s like “I’m here everyday, will you stop asking me already!? I can see how some people would find this tough to manage with, frankly, I don’t care at all but once I made my decision to leave, I really started noticing it. You will hear people complain about it and they are justified in doing so.

I will also say, speaking with many hotel people. Not many people make return trips. Many people by many things and spend a lot but the quality is not always what one would assume. You do get what you pay for in life. For the price, you’re getting good stuff but it’s still a lower end price and general spectrum of the quality market. Remember, things can “look dope” but until you put them to use, you have now idea how they will fare. Also if you do go, bring someone who knows what to look for, if not you will say “ok looks great” and when you get them home, slowly but surely begin noticing imperfections.

I wake up this morning after ordering some leather shoes, nice ones, full leather, even the soles with the intent of leaving. The sides are NOT as firm as they would be in some quality shoes like this back home though. Was going to buy some kicks but I noticed none of the stores put in reinforced backs, it’s more “for the look” and when it comes to shoes, you need both. Buddy at the shoe shop gave me a great price as well, he’s a good guy and I tip my hat to him. Check bus and the earliest one is 1:30 or tomorrow. I need to pick up a few more short samples and my new shoes, I book for the next day.

I am then walking back to hotel when I see a girl in a cast. I ask her what happened, we start talking. I start writing my blog name on her cast and this other dude is like hey “Stop Having a Boring Life” after I got to “stop having”. I guess he saw the massive tag I wrote in one of the bars. You can write on the walls and I really tagged this thing hahah.

I digress.

They inform me they are leaving on Vietnam Airways to Hanoi at 8pm. At 8pm a taxi takes them to Da Nang and then fly at 10. If you book online, you need to book ~32 hours in advance. Go through a travel agent, no problem or “cum co chi” as they say here.

So I book a ticket and cab to the airport for $50us, hah what a deal. I have to say, it felt good to connect with some good people again. I had spent a whole month living in a UNESCO Heritage Site, had a serious accident, realized it was time to “call it quits on doing business from there to some extent” and it was time to leave. That said, I have a lady who was legit for some small items, should I return to Canada for an extended period, I’ll wire her some cash and get her to drop ship for me. It was also pretty sweet paying a 21 day hotel stay(nice one, not some guesthouse) with several loads of laundry for $256US.

I’ve also realized that if I’m going to do things like this, hit up the place, find a good connection and leave. I don’t need to be around so why bother? Furthermore, if I want to see the world, I have to keep a move on, time is ticking. Even though I have been many places, I haven’t done “that much” for 7 months. I’ve done a lot just not a lot travel wise, especially when looking at the small area I have covered on a map.

Vietnam Airways is pretty pimp. There were 50 people on a 160 person flight so I had a whole row and just slept on my side. It was arguably one of the most enjoyable flights of my life. I love flying different airlines. I USED to think major carriers in North America were top notch, nah, forget it.

We get here and they want 20 us to get into town, we paid $10. In Hanoi the airport is a good ways from where the action is for backpackers / tourists. It’s a solid 45 min ride. We take it the 5 of us, 2 different group of 2 Canadians that had met up prior to myself and these random Spanish girls.

On a side note, my Vietnamese sucks but it’s getting good enough to be able to reinforce things and make small talk. Speaking in a foreign language has to be one of the most satisfying things out there.

On the way driver pulls a quick one trying to dump us at this shady hostel where he obviously gets a cut, we weren’t having it. Get to the area and the place is all booked, wander around. I’m carrying the girl with broken foots stuff and I will tell you this. When you fracture part of your face, the other parts that are just bruised feel like nothing until you hit them with a bag. I never even knew my nose was sore until today, odd.

Finally we find a place and seriously, this place is pretty pimp despite being off a sordid and somewhat seedy back alley. When I say nice, I mean it could be a room in a good hotel in Canada. Kinda reminds me of some of the rooms I’d have in the Renaissance in Vancouver, good stuff. They wanted $35, we talked them down to $20 considering it was midnight.

It’s different here, not as many tourists but then again it’s late and I’ve only been here a few minutes. Everyone has gone to bed so I can’t shuffle to get my camera and upload some pics, but I will, rest assured. Then again, I always say that and for some reason putting photos up feels like work, even though this is a travel blog and photos are key, I should work on that.

It’s late, I’m tired and just eat this porridge like thing on the street made of rice and chicken and spinach. There is a massive church around the corner, took some cool pics. On the topic of that, my camera, the new one is kinda mangled from the accident. If I shake it, I hear rattling and the whole top folded off today so now it’s taped on until I can fix it.

Many of these people are going to Halon Bay, I heard it’s nice and may follow them. After that, I plan on getting a visa to China. If they weren’t sleeping, I’d call insurance. It’s weird how the insurance company is NOT open 24 hours a day, you’d think they should be, yes?

Not sure what to do up here in Hanoi but it’s good to be on the road again. I really enjoy the traveling aspect of traveling and it was cool to be on a plane again. The roads here are so bad and in such bad shape that it takes forever to get places on land. It is ~17 hour bus ride I heard to get here, it was a 1 hour and change flight for $50, no complaints.

I’ve decided to put a limit on my time anywhere, a few days, if I really like somewhere, maybe a week. Anything longer is asinine if you’re goal is to travel the world or a big chunk enough, enough to say “I kinda know what’s happening all over”. I think it would be cool to go into China and take the Siberian Express or whatever it’s called? Don’t know much except it’s supposedly the longest train in the world ~9 days and covers A LOT of land.

Tips hat,

P.S: Odd how Hoi An and Hanoi are basically the same, letter wise at least.

Author: SHABL

Rob has been traveling the world and living abroad for over a decade. The goal was to stop having a boring life and it turned into something far greater. He's worked with national tourism boards and been mentioned in National Geographic. These days he lives abroad and loves business, technology, the tropical lifestyle, good food and travel.

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