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Monday, June 2, 2014

Nilai to Hanoi (again)

We made it into Hanoi after a cosy stopover in a funky hotel, New Wave 2, in Nilai - a very nondescript Malaysian town 12 kms from the KL airport. The taxi driver seemed unable to find it but it proved a much easier stopover than going into KL which is an overblown city we have seen before.

The room was a green concrete box but clean and utterly silent after our late arrival after mindight and we slept for ten hours solid.

The flight into Hanoi was straightforward and the visa on arrival process worked fine for us although some people didn't have the right exact US $45 and one couple claimed to have had all their money stolen between the plane and the immigration point.

We managed to change $20 into some Viet dong and had a very elegant meal at the Black Duck Cafe just around the corner from the Hanoi Old Town Hotel. The night markets were pulsating with life.

Today we have wandered around in the sweltering heat photographing the insane motorbike traffic, visiting the markets and finding a few things to tide us over on the train to Sapa tonight. We have already blogged Hanoi on our last visit, so this was just another easy day hanging out in air-conditioned comfort with sorties out to see the old town.

Hanoi is always a fascinating place people living and eating on the streets, shades of the French colonial past, both stiflingly hot and delightfully shady. Full of inexpensive and extremely obliging restaurants, as long as you avoid the scams and ripoffs that sometimes appear without warning.

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