Taiwan and Vietnam


Day 9

Flying to Vietnam

We caught our early taxi and made it to the airport in record time thanks to our speedy driver. We eventually got through the lines at the airport and met up with Anth, Amy and Rob at the departure gate, they had just arrived in Taipei from Melbourne.

We got to catchup for a bit before getting on our flight to Vietnam!

Hanoi airport transfer

We arrived and made our way through the airport, changed our leftover Taiwanese money for Vietnamese money, picked up our SIM cards and went in search of our driver.

When we meet with our driver he had a concerned look on his face as he counted our bags. We ordered an airport transfer for 5 people and 5 suitcases but he couldn’t really fit all of us and our bags in the 7 seater minivan. He almost refused but with a bit of persistence we convinced him that we’d be ok with loading up the back of the car as best we could and putting a couple of suitcases on our laps in the back seat.

Checking in to our hotel

Once we arrived at the hotel, our first challenge was crossing the road. Bec and I have experience with this from Ho Chi Minh but the others have never done it. You basically have to walk out in front of traffic and a constant speed and let the motorbikes and cars drive around you. Sudden movements or change of direction can cause collisions because they can’t judge where you’ll be so it’s important to not freak out while crossing.

We checked in and we welcomed with some nice tea while they prepared our rooms.

First meal in Hanoi

After settling in to our room, we meet downstairs and went out in search of food.

Rob stopped by an ATM to withdraw some cash but because the exchange rate is unusual for us, he ended up withdrawing 100,000 don’t, which is only $6 AUD.

We found a Vietnamese restaurant fairly close to the hotel and ate there. It was about 3pm and it was a little hard to find somewhere at this time but this place had good reviews, although we only found them after we had ordered, lol.

This has tourist prices so it was more expensive than what we read it should cost but it was a safe, clean option for our first meal and still only cost us about $10 AUD anyway.

Bec got a vermicelli beef noodle salad and I got a duck dish although I didn’t realise it came with French fries and rice!

Ngoc Son Temple

We walked down to the Ngoc Son temple which was dedicated to the turtle that found a sword and left it in the lake. The lake surrounding it was called Turtle lake dedicated to that turtle.

Hoam Kiem Lake (aka Turtle Lake)

#freetolove festival

While we were out and about there was a big festival or concert happening. There were big crowds waiting for some sort of concert to begin. Between that there was loud music pumping and a celebrity like person from Hanoi getting the crowd to say free to love.

Cafe for coconuts

We had booked a traditional Hanoi puppet play at 6:30pm so had some time to kill and were fairly tired from the travel. We found a cafe next to the theatre and ordered some coconuts for ourselves. It was the first time for Rob having a fresh coconut!

Tang Long Puppet Theatre

The play was completely full of tourists. When we got in there was traditional Vietnamese music being played on instruments and then the play began. It was all in Vietnamese so we didn’t understand anything but they were doing folk stories. The puppets were on water the whole time but because it was a long day and hot in the theatre there were some droopy eyes.

Night Market

After the play we decided we needed to go home and rest early as it had been a long day. We went home via the night market that opens on Saturday and Sunday from 6pm and the road is closed off. We only briefly looked but will properly explore tomorrow when we’re not so tired. We stocked up on water from the convenience store and headed back to the hotel for an early night 😴.