On the bus heading for the airport to fly into Laos. Final thoughts on Hanoi:
- Great sushi
- Lack of road rules and safety
- Walking out in front of cars and scooters is the only way to cross the road – scooters will either stop or go around you
- The city is crazy busy
- It is well hot and smoggy
- It’s been fun. Great culture and food, people are lovely and welcoming and I’ve never felt unsafe (I thought in a city this busy I’d be constantly wary of pickpockets but I felt really safe).
Meeting my group that have all travelled up through Vietnam has made me jealous. Obviously going to have to come back and see the rest of it. Oh what a shame.
Phew, getting in Laos is a bit of a faff. After a short flight and a landing that swayed to the left before getting back on track, we all went through to immigration with our completed entry passes. Then a massive group of Asian men pushed in front and we queued for over an hour. Once you get to the front you hand a stern looking man your passport, your visa form and a passport photo, slide along the counter past a man hidden behind some posters and along to a glaring woman who shows you your passport, takes $35 (for a UK citizen) and hands you back your passport with the visa inside. Note: you have to fill in your departure card before the man will let you through to baggage.
After a quick ride to our hotel, we headed out for dinner (via finding myself a new grasshopper friend on my bed as I got out my shower). Luckily Laos understands real size chairs so whilst we sat on the street (it was rather warm), at least we were more than an inch from the floor. For £5,70 I had a HUGE plate of fried beef with garlic and rice, two 630ml bottles of Beerlao (best beer ever, and did you know it is called Beerlao as it is the beer from Laos…this took me four days to work out) and two large bottles of water. Bloody love Laos.