I woke up with the loud sound of the plane’s booming wheels touching the runway. We were finally in Vietnam. After a short wait, we walked briskly to meet my dad at the arrival gate outside the plane. After our rendezvous, we headed using the escalator to the Customs area through the escalator once we finished urinating nearby in the toilets. There, our passports were checked and were allowed to enter this exciting country. Truthfully, we were all ready and elated on what we are adventuring and trekking upon.
We then waited for our bags for a short while at the airport’s given lane for our flight and headed through the usual sign which said, ”nothing to declare.” We got out of their arrival immigration and saw many people getting ready to greet their friends or family with flowers. We left for the information counter shortly later.
After knowing a little more about Hanoi at its information center, the city which was nearby the airport, the tourist guide offered as a low fee private ride to the city. We accepted it and waited for our private car to drive on with her to her house and then our destination in a bustling street. It was the end of her shift. After thanking her for her help just before she alighted the taxi, our private driver sent us through farmlands and finally, a bridge which was quite long. The only thing was, we could not see what was around us since it was very misty, which kind of destroyed our exploration in Hanoi.
As we left the main road and into those minor roads of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, I heard the honking of loud horns and were being slowed down by a lot of motorbikes. My mom got scared since she was worried on what may happen when we tried to cross the roads there. However, I calmed her down and soon arrived at a busy street in front of the hotel.
Almost immediately, a receptionist dressed in an elegant uniform came to us and helped us carry our luggage. However, my dad stopped him to it and told him we were not checking in. To our amusement since he was a Vietnamese, he did not understand and our driver, too, also could not. Soon a human translator from that same hotel came outside at its entrance and asked us what we wanted to say, we than spoke in English and was able to translate it into Vietnamese. They then all understood us and left which solved the funny problem.
With this funny misunderstanding handled, my dad made some half of an hour deals for high quality jackets at a shop which was selling The North Face. They soon saw eye to eye and bought those jackets they offered us at 2 million Vietnamese Dong which was a reasonable price. We thanked them gratefully and asked the cashier for available places to eat our dinner.
As we walked at the streets of this bustling, booming with trade city, we saw St. Joseph’s Cathedral, a church that resembles Notre Dame of Paris where we took some beautiful pictures. We soon were influenced by a locals to try their restaurant and took the chance. We headed upstairs since her restaurant was a shop house style and ordered some appetizing foods which were shown on the menu.
Within a period of a short waiting time, the smell of scrumptious foods came to the dining table as we took some photos of them and started eating in a joyful and slow manner.
After receiving our bill back at the cashier downstairs when we finished dinner, we paid for it and received the right change before hiring a taxi to send us to Hanoi Train Station as we were going to take an overnight train to the Sapa plains. Since it was our 1st experience, we were all excited as we rode in the taxi and reached our destination shortly.
With lots of activity happening in the station’s waiting rooms, we headed to a the edge of the platform where we had to wait for mom for a short while since she had to run across the train tracks since there was only one ticketing counter at the other side.
Shortly later, she said sadly that there was still an hour of waiting. So, we headed to a small lounge nearby and bought a small pack of chips and relaxed as we waited for the time to come. Soon, the lounge keeper/manager, a Vietnamese man, came to us and started showing weird directions like showing us his bunch of keys. At first, my mom thought the agent was ready. She was the woman who would give us our tickets. Despite our thoughts, he just stamped his feet and his face turned fearing red. Feeling scared, we all packed our bags and left his lounge without delay so that he would not fly off the handle. It was such a hilarious scene!
When we arrived at our meeting place, we had to wait for another hour since our agent was delayed and when she came, she explained to us what may happen in the train and asked for the fees to ride the train. We also saw, when she left, an English woman whom spoke to my mom later on.
When our train was ready, we said bye and wished each other a safe and enjoyable trip as we headed to our cabin where we would be sleeping overnight!