After the previous night’s excesses in Halong Bay, I woke up with the worst hangover since the rice wine incident of 2004, so walked straight out of bed and jumped into the freezing sea. The cold provided a brief distraction from the pain but no more, so climbed up to the sun deck where it was obvious who’d been drinking the previous night. I love the smell of vomit in the morning…it smells like…victory.
Four hours back on the bus was broken only by a lunch stop that happened to serve burgers in addition to the usual fare. Having missed breakfast and being in need of some grease we ordered burgers only for a half raw mound of gristle and fat to arrive, which we just couldn’t even start.
That evening we met up with a couple of good friends from home (Hey Sal and Georg!) who happened to be in Vietnam at the same time. Of course, this meant I missed the hour long Water Puppet Theatre, which was to have been the highlight of the whole trip. Crying inside I left the others to their magical show and we went for a (soft) drink on a 5th floor balcony overlooking the crazy Hanoi traffic and caught up.
After the puppet show was over we rejoined the others and they admitted what I’d assumed: It sucked.
We all went into the old town and visited a cold beer shop, where punters sit on the edge of a busy crossroads with a decent 15p beer and doughnuts and wait for traffic accidents to gawp at.
Having not eaten all day we ducked the local noodle soup option and headed to an Australian bar above a laundrette for nachos and pizza. Then spent a dong in the nearby Loo Bar, which seemed to be simply a collection of different sized toilet bowls arranged around a pretty standard bar, albeit entirely covered in plastic.
Sadly we weren’t up for/remotely capable of a big night out following the rice wine incident of 2008 so said our goodbyes and made plans to meet in Cambodia for New Years Eve.