After using 40 days of our 90 day Nepali visa we left Nepal on Saturday 29 October. Our last day was full of goodbyes and gratitude for a country that has been warm and hospitable to us in so many ways.
We have become familiar and accepting of Nepal’s customs and foibles, so much that there is a sense of knowing how things work on a daily basis. Vietnam feels completely alien to us. We know the currency and that we are travelling to the capital Hanoi. Noel has done a quick crash course of the basic language via YouTube (Toi an chay is I’m vegetarian).
So with hearts in mouths we left Kathmandu at 9.25pm for a night flight to Kuala Lumpur airport. We arrived about 5am to the coldest airport ever. Clearly a fault with the air conditioning the tempreture was about 13c. Like everyone we were in light clothes and frozen after a 6 hour wait to board the plane to Hanoi. The airport staff were very helpful and said if we wanted to send a message via WhatsApp someone would acknowledge it. Not what we wanted, we wanted a member of staff to switch it off. The temperature outside was 25c so why we had to freeze we had no idea.
Our arrival at Hanoi on Sunday 30th October and the gaining of our visas was uneventful, but getting money was unusual. We had worked out that £1 was equal to 27,000 dong but were not quite prepared at the ATM to withdraw 2million dong (£36 or $60 Aussie dollars). So we were millionaires twice over!
Our hotel is the Charming Hanoi Hotel (1). There are two hotels of the same name aprox half a kilometre from each other. In the pouring rain we managed to go to the wrong one. However we arrived, we checked in, we ate and we slept. Our first day in Vietnam was over.