After spending more than 2 weeks in Japan, the time has come for us to continue our trip around the world and leave for Vietnam. We loved our trip through Japan, so we expected a great cultural shock at our arrival in Vietnam. Keep reading, you’ll find out if we were wrong!
Arriving to Vietnam from Japan… a great cultural shock
We had a great time in Japan so we thought it would change us to go to Vietnam … By doing our research for this country, the reviews are very mixed which is not really for us reassure. We know that we move from a rich and ultra-respectful country to a developing country where people are not really friendly (according to the opinions but we expect to be ours). But at the same time you know people more respectful than in Japan? We do not! We must also take into account that we have been traveling for 6 weeks already, fatigue is beginning to be felt!
A rough flight
We leave the land of the rising sun by taking a flight from Narita to Hanoi. We are traveling again with Japan Airlines. The flight is scheduled for 6 pm, we are in the waiting room and they announce to go to the toilet before the flight because there is likely to be turbulences… Here I looked at Alberto arrested by this announcement… First time we’d ever heard such thing before boarding! They are not very reassuring, I will listen to them then… in the end the flight went very well, there was indeed turbulence at first but nothing too flippant. The airplane was large and comfortable, the food OK and the hostesses looked perfect (as always with Japan Airlines).
Finally in Vietnam… in the middle of the night!
Knowing that we were arriving late in Hanoi we decided to book a hotel near the airport with shuttle included so we did not have to go to the center etc … Actually for us it was already midnight and we were tired travel.
Upon arriving, someone has a sign with our names, cool they are on time. He is told that we will first take money from the ATM before leaving. Thing done, no worries, we go out and there “oh my god what is this heat at this hour of the night!! So hot and so wet!”
We take the road for 5 min as the hotel is frankly close. The driver must be barely 16 years old and does not speak English, nor even hello in short we do not care about it just want a shower and a bed! We arrive to get our things up, the room is ok and there is an A / C!
It is 2am in the morning, we are showered and we can finally go to sleep, we can’t wait!
An awkward first contact
4 hours later we woke up… Yeah! It is superhot and there is noise in the street .. As we have to leave for Hanoi we begin to prepare slowly because we will only stay one day in the capital, so we final we go and try to enjoy!
We have to take a bus from the airport to the center, so we ask the hotel to bring us, but they want us to pay ah ah… it’s just 500 meters! The thing is that we can’t go on foot as it is a highway… Well we say ok but we negotiate the price before because we understood that he wanted money. He calls his friend who will arrive a few minutes later. In the meantime we checked out, and we payed for the room. It is always the same 16 year old boy who does not speak English and who is as kind as a prison door… In short, we agree to pay but he has no money for the change, so he says “what a pity”… No luck for him, he’s got the wrong kind of guests plus he wants us to pay the taxi for 500 meters, so I demand him to give us the change… that does not please him (to us either) but he ends up giving us what it takes (magic!).
The taxi arrives and we ask again if he agrees on the price. “Yes, yes, 5000 ok” he says. So we get in the car and we arrive at the airport 5 minutes later. Not even the time to get out that he tells us “money, money” (haha, he actually knows a word in English!). I hate the way he speaks to us, but we are not home, so we give him the 5000 and there he starts grumbling in Vietnamese. Another taxi driver sees that we do not understand each other (in fact if we understand that he wants more money except that we don’t want to understand). The other man tells us it’s not 5000 but 50,000… Ah ah he just wants one more zero! We had heard scams of all kinds in this country and just arrived we are confronted to one! In the end we do the conversion and certainly it is just 3€ but if we start like that it is not going to end well! We give him his money and we take our bus.
We are very tired but happy to have arrived, we are a bit on the reserve about Vietnam, but we want to make ourselves an opinion of our own! We know that we risk getting pissed off, that they see us as walking dollars but we trust that it is a beautiful country! Luckily, the rest of our trip through Vietnam showed us that people in Vietnam are really nice and friendly!
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