Here we are. We said to ourselves. Hanoi, Vietnam. How do you like them apples? Well, I like 'em just fine. This place is amazing. It is like Mexico for Australians and Kiwis. There are a ton of foriegners here but most seem to be tourists. We ran in to a problem at the Taiwan airport that ended up costing us quite a few dollars, so we find ourselves a lot lighter financially than we had expected. Luckily, for us, everything here is the kind of cheap that makes you think you are halucinating or dreaming. We sit down in nice restaurants and eat huge meals, drink beer or whatever and have dessert. The kind of meals you would pay more than one hundred dollars for in Canada, we are paying 4-6 dollars. It is 1 dollar for a cab pretty much anywhere in the city. We are staying at a hotel for 12 dollars a night. This 12 dollar hotel consists of a double bed, satalite tv, mini-fridge and of course AC. The room is clean and there are no bugs.
From what we've seen on the streets, t-shirts, shorts and pants are a measly 2-4 dollars. We got new sim cards for our phones, without showing a lick of ID. In Taiwan, getting a sim card was like applying for a small business loan. The sim cards were 5 dollars and they came with ten dollars worth of minutes.
The temperature is the same as Taiwan, but there is a consistant breeze that makes it pleasant. The one downside is the constant harrassment by peddlers selling everything from books, hats, lighters, fruit and "Mareeewana". Everything they are selling is, of course, "werry cheepy" and they don't accept "no" for an answer unless you get rude about it.
I heard my first "A numbah 1 ok" and almost busted a gut laughing. One thing that is really cool, and I may actually purchase is a Vietnam War, American issue zippo. There were hundreds of thousands of these things left here during the war and there are peddlers on the street selling them. I don't know if they are authentic or not, but who cares?
I am in an internet cafe right now, and I will try and update frequently during our first few weeks here, as it is the most exciting time.
For those of you still reading, I thank you for your interest, and hope you keep tuning in.
Until next time,