The Hanoi-ing Impression Sandwich

The French occupied Hanoi in 1873 and became the capital of French Indochina after 1887.

My weeklong stay in Hanoi was, unfortunately, sandwiched by frustrating impressions, which I will release here in order to write a bitter-free blog post on Vietnam’s capital.

Upon leaving the arrival gates of the Noi Bai airport, I was greeted by a swarm of taxi drivers looking for unsuspecting passengers. Taxis in Hanoi have meters (those rate calculators) and these cabbies try and get you to agree on a fixed rate.

AYAYAY.

So should you go Hanoi-ing, don’t forget to ask your hotel to have someone pick you up. And keep the number of the hotel with you in case no one’s around to sweep you and your luggage off your feet or wheels or whatever… Lest you wind up like me – waiting for someone who never arrives.

Due to the odd time Cebu Pacific flights arrive in Hanoi (1am or so), there was a mix up with my “pick up”. So I waited over an hour for a cab that never came while overeager Vietnamese mosquitos feasted on my extremely sleepy boddeh!

Good thing a cab just so happened to pass by the dark and empty airport or else I may have spent the night there. (HEEYIPES.)

Oh, just so you know, there’s a curfew in Hanoi and almost everything shuts down at midnight so I cannot stress enough the importance of arranging someone to pick you up from the airport specially if you arrive late.

The Impression Sandwich title should give the correct impression that both the first AND last impressions will be written about. So let’s get the extremely irritating and intensely frustrating last impression out.

Saturday night, whilst trying to spend all my Dong (the Vietnamese currency) on pasalubong for friends & family…

(pasalubong is what we Filipinos call presents bought for others, usually when on a trip.  Para means “for” and salubong means “to greet” or “to meet” and these gifts are meant to be given when you “meet/greet” your loved ones again.)

My bag was slashed open from behind and some AWESOME person took my iPhone. I was extremely careful with the iPhone I named BUD WHITE throughout my stay and, admittedly, that night was the most careless I had been ’cause I was in a rush to finish my shopping and get back to my hotel before having to leave for the airport. I WAS STILL PRETTY CAREFUL THOUGH. I’d make sure the zipper of my bag was close to me and I’d hold my phone extremely tight most of the time. But the night market really is the perfect setting for thieves. You’ll eventually get stuck in a tight crowd. You’ll eventually look at items in stalls and not have all your attention on your bag.

*sigh*

You have no idea how pissed I was.

*sigh*

Farewell, Bud. And bye bye to all the photos and videos I took on the trip to provide a more entertaining and informative blog entry… So you guys should say bye bye to a more interesting Hanoi post from moi, too.

*sigh again*

ANYWHOOOO. Though my post on Hanoi will definitely be way LESS entertaining, I’ll still try to provide you with all the information you need to enjoy a trip to Hanoi as I did, for the most part.

Don’t worry, it’s still a very interesting place to visit. The buns that hold the sandwich may taste like crap, but what’s important is what’s in the sandwich itself rightttt? Right.

(Yep. That’s what I keep telling myself.)

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2 thoughts on “The Hanoi-ing Impression Sandwich”

  1. I am imagining that dark 1 am arrival, i think thats totally creepy, especially if you are new in the place. and the taxi drivers or men are swarming around you.
    anywhere we go, we should take extra careful and alert. and ofcourse, plan all the time. thanks for the tips and sharing your incredible experience Ja. now we know. 🙂

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