Planes, buses & scooters, oh my!

Sunday, January 19th

Our last evening in Hanoi was spent strolling through the night markets & around Hoan Kiem Lake, the liquid heart of the city. Preparations were frantically underway to light up & beautify the city for Tet or Vietnamese New Year. This is celebrated on the first of the lunar year & this year it falls on January 31st.image Upon returning to our hotel, after the evening out, we were greeted by the night staff who produced a birthday cake & beer. You can imagine our surprise & delight at this thoughtful gesture. They had noticed Bob’s birth date on his passport (all hotels require guests to provide their passport on check-in) & ordered a decorated cake to surprise him. Despite the fact that is was around midnight & we tired after our long return trip from Halong Bay, we popped open the Heinekens, cut the cake & had a little party in the lobby. Special thanks to Quan, Xieu & the rest of the gang at the Indochina Hotel!

Hanoi night marketNext morning we headed to the airport for the 1-hour flight to Da Nang. Upon landing we decided to take the local bus to Hoi An, figured out which way to go & walked just over 1K to the bus stop. Cost was $2.50 each (vs $15.00 for a taxi) & experience priceless! (Right now we know our good friend Rob is shaking his head). We obviously stood out & I kept thinking to myself we must look really odd as they kept staring at us-guess they don’t’ get many vintage flashpacker’s on the milk run! They are quite organized with two ‘bus packers’ pushing oncoming passengers to their seats, collecting fares & stowed the various packages, all with the bus barely stopping.

image

We finally arrived in Hoi An & were dropped off at the local bus terminal. We were off-loaded & had NO idea where we where, or whether to turn left or right.  There were no taxis to be seen, no one spoke English & we had a bunch of sketchy looking guys swarming us offering to take us into town.  We decided to regroup & headed to a local stall for a beer to figure things out.  The man with me in the picture, Mr. Tran, came over & we started to talk as best as possible.  In the end we figured he was a pretty good guy, promised me he would take it easy, and ended up hopping on the back of both his & his partners scooters for the 6K ride to our Homestay, similar a B&B.  He was a man of his word & needless to say we arrived safe & sound. 

Author: Theresa & Bob

We love to wander, aimlessly at times it seems, and will keep moving as far and as long as we can. Serendipity has provided many wonders along the way, when least expected, and we love the anticipation of the 'next great find' just around the corner.

8 thoughts on “Planes, buses & scooters, oh my!”

    1. Thanks Martha! We really appreciate hearing from you as well. I keep thinking what wonderful works you would be painting with the marvellous scenery here, words can just not grasp it!

  1. Talk about adventuresome! I’m glad you were able to save some money by taking scooters, water buffalo next? And ‘liquid heart of the city’…someone was paying attention in English lit…
    Jamie

  2. You are brave souls! So you really are travelling with only backpacks? That in itself seems challenging but the scooter ride must have been a bit daunting! Take care of yourselves. Debbie

  3. Wow…..not only was Rob shaking his head so was I!!! Sounds like you are really exploring the depths of each town/city you are in. Glad you are enjoying…what a way to celebrate a birthday. Be safe….miss you…love Bren & Rob.

  4. Happy Birthday Bob! Sounds like you are having a fascinating time and I am so appreciating the wonderful blogging and pictures!

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