Night flight from Beijing took around 4 hours, so we got a little shut-eye, until Lia woke up. When we arrived, we needed to arrange Visas. It was a quick enough procedure, because we already had our letters of approval and we anounced our day of arrival. It was all over in one hour. While this was all going on, our suitcases came, we went to say hello to the ATM and raised our first 2.000.000 Vietnamese Dongs (yup, I know, it sounds a lot) ;), but it’s something like 77EUR.
Now, we are ready to enter Vietnam.
We took a bus Number 86, which leaves the airport every 25 minutes, straight to the city centre. It took us just under one hour, and we paid around 35.000 dongs/person-Lia had a free ride. 😉 The bus station was close to our Hanoi Golden Hostel, which we booked on booking. It was a good hostel, clean, staff were really friendly, and they gave us a late breakfast-little perks you get when traveling with a kid. 😉
Since it was Sunday, the main streets around lake Kiem were all closed and put to a different use. Street market, sellers of different goods, ice cream stands and a lot of stuff for kids. Lia had a great time in one of the electric toy cars…it was the perfect distraction from a long trip we had.
Later we went to sleep quite early and woke up 12 hours later in the “Discovery mode” ;). So we started to explore this great city. First we went to the infamous Train street, where trains pass inches from buildings, coffee shops and trees. We continued to the Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, which was, the same as all museums, closed. Most of this kind of stuff in Vietnam is closed on Mondays-we know that now ;).
Towards the end of the day, we went for a dinner and then stopped at one of many agencies. Here we booked our next day trip to Halong Bay (30EUR/person-Lia was free) and plane tickets for a domestic flight to Ho Chi Minh City (a.k.a. Saigon) for 130EUR/for all three of us + 40 kg of luggage.