Monday, Feb. 15th (Hanoi Day 1; Visit 2)

  • It was an errand day today in preparation of our trip to the Laos border over the next two days.
  • I had a relaxed morning while Cory looked in to getting his iPhone fixed and retrieving his new debit card from Hanoi Rocks Hostel.  Unfortunately neither venture was successful.
  • We said a final goodbye to Dries, who joined up with his Australian and Irish friends to start the journey to the Laos border.
  • The first stop was an ANZ bank ATM (the location on Hang Trong and Nha Tho lets you take out 5 million VND at a time) followed by Hang Bac street to buy USD to cover the Laos Visa fee.  Jewellry shop number 10 gave us a fair rate and had great customer service, in contrast to the 5 or so other shops we attempted.
  • Next was a trip to Dong Xuan market for some travel gear: instant coffee, two plates, two knives, a frying pan, and a protective case for my phone which is on its last legs.
  • Stopped at Cong Caphe for a blended coconut coffee, by far the best blended coffee drink we have ever had.
  • Last chore was a visit to the mechanic to have our oil changed at 100K VND ($4.50) per motorbike.  Cory also had some oil worked into his clutch to smooth out the shifting for 50K VND ($2.25).  Total cost: 150K VND ($6.75).
  • We parked our bikes and passed through the local market on our way back to the hostel where we picked up fresh green beans, tomatoes, and broccoli.
  • We cut everything up and took it to the Bun Bo Nam Bo street shop from the night before.  They happily fried the veggies along with all the other ingredients at no extra charge.
  • We returned to the hostel and watched Ted in the movie room while digesting.
  • The rest of the night was given over to writing and packing in preparation of our check out tomorrow.
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