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Love, Trust, and a little bit of Wanderlust If we don't try we will never know, in the end we only regret the chances we didn't take.

Airports and Angry Drivers

VIETNAM | Sunday, 16 April 2017 | Views [170]

Flight Day had arrived. Nearly 8 weeks in and this is the first plane we are getting on since our flight to Bangkok at the very beginning. We got up, horribly hungover, got washed and dressed and headed down to wait for our bus. Another 3 hours back to Vientiane. 🙄
When we booked the ticket we paid a little extra to get us directly to the airport (it was about £1 each extra but it saved us time and hassle going to the city then to the airport). The journey was pretty uneventful, we snoozed a little, read and had a similar stop off in the middle. When we got to Vientiane the bus stopped just a few km from any significant drop offs. The driver then boarded the back of the bus and told us, he would drop us off 1km further, where tuk tuks would be waiting to take us where we wanted to go. I'm clearly starting to build some confidence out here because without even thinking about it I just said, "No, we paid for a ticket to the airport so we aren't paying any more."
The driver looked confused then asked for all the passengers tickets. When we handed ours over we explained we had already paid extra so we want to go to the airport. Without another word he got back in the drivers seat and drove off.
We pulled up a few minutes later at a group of tuk tuks, the driver called us and pointed to a tuk tuk truck, they took our bags and then the rest of the bus followed.
We pulled up at the airport, got of, where given our bags, said thank you and confidently walked away hoping they didn't chase us for payment 😂
As we walked we turned back to notice all the other passengers paying for their additional trip.
We were hours early for our flight but we didn't mind, at least we weren't late. We checked in, passed security, handed in our departure cards, were stamped out of the country and boarded the plain all pretty easily. The flight was only an hour (45minutes once we set off because the wind was behind us) so we didn't expect much but the plane was comfortable with plenty of leg room and we were give food and drinks for free!

If we were going to encounter any problems it would be with the visa for Vietnam. We had applied online to give us 30days instead of the visa on arrival option which only gave you 15. Some people had said the online ones were unreliable and they didn't accept them, but we decided to try, if it didn't work we could still get 15 days on arrival. We cued for quite a while at the immigration/passport check desks but the cues for 'Visa on Arrival' were massive, those people would be there for hours. My husband approached the desk first, a young woman took his passport and visa document that we had printed in an Internet cafe a few days earlier. She spent a long time inspecting them, longer than anyone who had passed through before us, then she called a guard over to her desk. He seemed to take forever to get there, seriously the slowest walker in the world, but just as he got to her door she turned and said something to him then laughed, and he moved away. I heard the stamp press from behind the desk and the hubby walked through. I went next, passport scanned, visa paper checked, passport stamped and a little 'E.V' written next to the date of exit, to show we had 30days in the country because of the electronic visa application. Phew!
We are officially in our 3rd country. Vietnam!
We got our bags and headed out to a very cool breeze. This was a nice relief. We knew we needed to find a bus and had even researched what bus numbers to get into the centre of Hanoi known as the Old Quarter. But we couldn't find them... We wandered ignoring the calls of 'taxi, taxi,' until a man in a suit shouted 'taxi, bus.'
We asked if the bus went to the centre? To the Old Quarter? Where would it drop us? The only response we got was 'Yes'!
Ok we need to decide if we are going to risk it. Yes, we will risk it. $2 dollars each, on the bus, only 6 other people boarded, we had loads of space, and the bus had wifi!!!

When the bus pulled over for us to get off it dropped us in chaos. We had driven past a crash in the centre of what I can only describe as a spaghetti junction, it was a car, 2 scooters and a type of tuk tuk, and the traffic just drove around them beeping. We soon realised this beeping is constant. They use it like we use indicators. To signal to other road users. But these beeps are to tell them that they are coming up at the side of them, or to tell them to move, because these people are not slowing down!! Ever!
So, as we got off the bus, the driver was already moving as I was still on the stairs. It was a sign of things to come 😂

It took 2 attempts to find a place to stay and a lot of walking. But it was so much cooler here so the walk was less stressful. We were more than pleased with our room, better than most we had stayed in previously. And again, it was time to head out to explore!

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