I can hear the beeps right now… five seconds can’t go by without me hearing a car, motorcycle or bus toot. Welcome to Hanoi, where the humble traffic light and pedestrian crossing are just so bourgeois.
But before I talk about Hanoi, let me finish up on Bangkok. Yesterday took us to the biggest market I for one have ever seen, Chatuchak Market, which I’ll no doubt be returning to on the last days of our trip. I was in retail heaven, and it even brought out the inner-shopaholic in Paul. Next up was shopping of a different kind – Siam Square may have offered us the likes of Gucci and Prada but instead we opted solely for their clean toilets.
With Bangkok not yet an Olympic city, we settled instead for Thai boxing, and took a white-knuckled tuk tuk ride through the hectic streets of Bangkok to get there. Problem was, the touts there only offered us tickets double what good old Lonely Planet said they should be (no way we were paying $80 for a sport we only wanted to get a sniff of). Feeling like the seasoned backpackers we are, we circled the stadium looking for the ‘Thai entrance’ – without success. This was a Thai scam that was too hard to crack, so we threw in the towel and caught the boat back to our accommodation, our favourite mode of transport so far.
Hanoi is harder than Bangkok – it can take twenty minutes to walk a small block due to the insane traffic, and the currency can only be worked out by a skilled mathematician – 13,000 dong to the Aussie dollar, which becomes so much more fun when you add the second currency of US dollars in to the mix.
Tomorrow we’re off to Ha Long Bay, which I’m expecting to be one of the highlights of the trip. Let’s see if kayaking is as easy as it sounds.