After far too much time on a couple of aeroplanes, I have made it back to Hanoi. The flights were both pretty pleasant and for the first time ever I actually slept while airborne. The flight from Auckland left just before midnight and I spent a good while playing with the video telly thingy. I watched Nightwatch… or at least some of it. I was bored to death by the hour mark, so changed to Firewall which was just another by-the-numbers thriller. Then two episodes of the Justice League cartoon and some trivia games.
At around 3:30am, I nodded off. Or was it midnight? Or something. Time zones are a right pain. Either way, we arrived in Singapore around 7:30am and I had 2 hours to wander around, check my email, buy a really bad smoothie and make my way onto a second plane. Which sat on the runway for almost an hour before takeoff. All the information we got was that one of the runways was out of action (no idea why) and we were stuck in the largest traffic queue I’ve ever been in, at least if you go by tonnage of vehicles involved.
A small delay overall and we actually arrived in Vietnam barely 20 minutes behind schedule. The change in climate was decidedly obvious when I got off the plane. From sub-zero Queenstown snowfalls to 35-degree heat and humidity. And utter chaos as I was surrounded by people yelling “taxi?!” at me as I walked into the smog.
I opted for a minibus rather than a taxi as it’s only $2 (32000 Dong). As expected, I ended up being the last person on the bus with someone asking me if I knew where I was going and if I’d already booked my accomodation. Then they offered to drive me right to the hotel for only $1 extra. Bargain. Only I didn’t have another $1 on me, and from where I was I could walk to the hostel in less than 3 minutes. Well, 5 minutes once I battled my way through the hordes trying to get me to go to another hotel, or use their motorbike.
So now I sit in fanned heat, with a cold beer and wireless internet. Whoop! Here for another 3 weeks minimum before renewing my visa and heading south.