2010 HANOI

  Leaving Laos went easily.  They had a nice airport, everything was comfortable and on time.
 I flew a little 80 seat prop plane and landed in Hanoi at 3:50 pm, claimed my bag, went
through customs with no check , had someone waiting from the hotel, then got 1,500,000
Dong at the ATM, and boarded the taxi to the hotel.  An Irish couple joined me.  They were
going to the same area and though my trip was free they paid $15.  I thought that a little high
until one hour and a half later we were just pulling up to their hotel.  They said things in
Ireland were bad with the economy.  The Irish weren’t going out as much but they decided
to get out of the cold and take advantage of a relatively cheap two week trip to SE Asia.  It is
against the law to swear in Ireland now.  
I got to my hotel shortly thereafter.  The traffic is impossible to describe.  Wall to wall
everything in every direction.  I checked in and after trying to hook up to the internet,
realized I left my adapter in Laos.  I had bad feeling from past experience but after
mentioning it to the clerk, the bell boy brought one to my room. It had A/C with cable,
balcony, etc.  I ventured out into the night.  I witnessed a Vietnamese get hit by a motorbike
with two Vietnamese ladies on it.  The driver caught herself before the bike went down but
the pedestrian was thrown to the street. She got up but I think she was in shock. I was very
careful afterward.  I had a peddler approach me trying to sell me some pineapple or bananas
she was carrying on her shoulder. I kept refusing but she was persistent and took her bar with
two large containers attached, that she carries her wears, and put it on my shoulder.  I was
amazed at how heavy it was so I bought some pineapple to lighten her load.  Then a man
pulled up on a motorbike offering a ride which I refused. Then he offered a four pack of
Viagra which I refused.  Then a lady pulled up on a motorbike and asked if I wanted to get
on and she would give me massage.  I refused and realized I turned down the wrong street
and backtracked.  I had dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant overlooking the street then
returned early to plan my week.  
 I  ate rice and broccoli for breakfast with toast and coffee.  Breakfast was served in the 6th
floor rooftop restaurant.  I couldn’t see much as it was raining and the restaurant was all
steamed up.  I packed and the maid moved me next door to a single room which was smaller
but cheaper and no balcony 😦   
The hotel travel agent  booked my tour of Ha Long Bay tomorrow , my tour to Sa Pa in the
mountains to sleep with the villagers and smoke opium, my flight to Da Nang and my taxi to
the airport.  He then gave me a walking type tour on the map for the local sites in Old Town
and out I went. 
 I did most of the Old Town, photos until the battery went dead, then movies before
returning to plug my battery in to be charged. I then went back out and took some more
movies. It is raining this morning and for the first time I can use that umbrella that I have
been carrying for the over a month!  
A lady passed me a brochure to visit the Green Tangerine Euro Viet style food.  It was a 1928
Villa converted into a restaurant.  I had a 333 Beer and the Duck in a red wine sauce.  Then a
cup of Vietnamese Coffee with Creme Brulee and some kind of homemade Ice Cream.  The
Brulee  was the best I ever had.  The lady, wife of the Chef, that handed me the brochure came
by to thank me for trying the restaurant and to inquire as to how the meal was.  I asked for
the recipe for the Brulee and introduced myself to the Chef.  He took me in the back where
his well trained (they do as the Chef orders) Vietnamese staff actually knock out the food and
wrote me out the recipe.  It needs Lemon Grass! NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW


After returning to get my now charged battery,  I ventured out again with camera in hand..
never used the umbrella.  I hired a Cyclo to take me to Ho Chi Minh Monument.  I was hoping
to visit but after he charged me 100000 dong…twice the price …I walked over to get into the
Mausoleum and found it closed 5 minutes ago.  Another Cyclo driver tried to get me aboard
and asked for twice the price that I paid the last!  I decided to walk. Then a Motorbike driver
, who had listened in and watched then approached me with a quote that was right.  I took his
offer and hired him to pick me up at the hotel on Friday to take me for a haircut, to the
Mausoleum and shopping for some cinnamon. 
That evening I ate at the Little Hanoi restaurant.   I ate Shrimp in Tamarind sauce with a
glass of Bordeaux then finished with Vietnamese coffee and a Grand Mariner before walking
back to the hotel. Most menus and prices around the restaurants and stores are quoted in U.S.
Dollars.  That did surprise me. You can buy U.S. dollars by the package at the local market in
$100 denominations.  You can also buy bundles of fake dong in 50000 denomination notes.
They buy and use these at Karaoke contests or weddings when people get  up to sing and you
show your appreciation by pinning the money on them .   In a real situation, not a party, they
pin real money on them.  The one with the most is the best singer.
A personal aside:
I noticed the French are always pursing their lips and throwing up their arms while shrugging
their shoulders as if to say…it is not my fault.    The oriental women are always hitting or
slapping their boyfriends playfully but then what happens after they get married?  They also
are always looking at their face in the mirror while picking at it. 
Every now and then while walking around there will be someone that looks at you knowingly
and I recognize the same in them…we fought together or against each other but we were in
the same war.  You just know.  It is a good feeling but difficult to explain.  We both went
through the same experience in life. I get it with Vietnamese in the states sometimes when
our eyes meet. I see it in other American  Vietnam Vets,also.  
When the street vendors approach, I get stressed. First thing…where you from…it is not that
I am annoyed or don’t want to carry on some banter with them, it is that I can’t hear and with
their accent and the street noise it is stressful to strain in order to hear. You have to
concentrate  your mind to try and sort out what they are trying to communicate.  You tend
to avoid people and that is not why I travel.
 It is very rewarding when I can understand and the message comes through.  The vendors
all have been trained well.  The Pineapple and banana lady that put her load on my shoulder
was trained to do that.  It worked.  I went out the next day and a different pineapple and
banana vendor did the same to me as did another.  I think they weigh those baskets down to
make you think they carry such a heavy load. Each vendor has their own tricks.  The book
vendor’s approach…where you from…I love to say Arizona…that stops them in their
tracks…Russia ? they ask…no Arizona…then you say cowboys and their eyes light up.  
When they can’t sell you a book they try a tour guide, then a map and finally a postcard.
 The hat vendors start with …where you from then you buy Army cap with Vietnam and a
Star on it…no….you buy Army cap without Vietnam on it just a star…no…you buy Vietnamese
peasant hat…no….you buy bracelet…no…each one works for the same people …there is an
Army of them spread out over this entire city.
 I did venture out to get my Hanoi Vodka for the evening but instead of paying the little old
lady for the mixer, I felt I should buy it from this midget that ran a small soda and cigarette
store next to the hotel.  He was always friendly and asking me to sit and buy a soda with him.
 I did buy one to take to the hotel and when I entered the Front Desk Manager noticed I
brought in my own soda instead of buying his.  I explained how I felt bad for the midget and
he informed me the guy just returned from a 6 month tour of the U.S.  This place is full of
surprises.  
I’ve been feeling a little feverish and chills the last couple days that I attributed to the diarrhea and maybe having the A/C too cold where I almost froze one night.  It could be the onset of flu.  I’m bedding down early again with a 7am wake up call for my trip to Halong Bay. I noticed my new room is next to the elevator and it does make noise.  When I take my hearing aides out it should cease.  This is the best hotel I’ve stayed at in years.  The service is great and I’m not going to let a little noise bother me as long as I don’t lose sleep over it.  I booked another two nights here because the staff is great and go out of there way to accommodate you.  The Front Desk called my Motor Bike driver to have him pick me up on Friday.  The maid noticed my pineapple in the refrigerator when I moved rooms and moved it for me as well as plugged my battery and charger into the new room so it would be ready when I returned.  Little things mean a lot. 
The Minivan picked me up for the trip to Halong Bay right on time.
I was the last stop at 8am and the van was full.  There was a couple from Zealand, and a large
group from China.  Later I met a couple from Florida. He was from Needham , Mass
originally and I think she was oriental from Hawaii.   He proposed to her in a balloon at the
Albuquerque balloon festival and they did their honeymoon at the Grand Canyon. The
weather was rainy and cold.  The rain cleared but the cold got colder.  We arrived after a
brief stop for coffee then boarded the boat immediately and arrived in the island area with
in a half hour. 
 It was beautiful but a lot of tourist boats like ours took away from it a bit.  We visited a
“fishing village” which was a bunch of floating rafts with live seafood in open fenced areas
submerged in the water.  You could walk around and pick out the seafood you wanted…live
shrimp, crab, fish, clams, etc and then pay the man and he would give it to the boat captain
that would cook it for you and serve it along with the 10 courses they already served.  
We ate after that tour and it was great.
 One Japanese man bought some large clams the captain had steamed up and his table shared
them.  We did a brief cruise around before stopping at an island to visit some limestone caves
that were truly amazing.  On the climb up to the caves I had to sit down to catch my breath.
One of the Chinese, that commented to his wife on how handsome a man I was , stopped and
sat with me then took my arm to assist when I started up the stairs again.  I was fine but just
lost my breath and it was hard to explain that I only had one lung working for me. 
We shared taking pictures of each other and then boarded the boat again to return to the
harbor and the bus.  The ride back was tiring and most of us napped until we stopped at
another souvenir shop where I grabbed a big bowl of hot chicken noodle soup that was grand.
 When we arrived in Hanoi, I was the last off at the hotel and still a bit hungry but didn’t have
any small change and the desk didn’t either.
  I stopped by one restaurant and explained I only had a half a million dong bill.  The owner
said no problem so I pointed to what someone was eating and said give me that and a beer.
 It looked terrible but tasted pretty good.  They thought at first I wanted the big one that they
light a fire at your table and you cook it yourself.  I would have welcomed a fire at the table
but not a big meal.  While I was eating , motorbikes kept pulling up and stopping by the
cashier to order a chicken pate sandwich to go…every 10 seconds.  I watched the guy go
through at least 5 pounds of pate and chicken while sitting there.  I made a note to return my
last night in town and do that myself. It was a tiring day. 
My Motor Bike driver will pick me up at 10am to visit Ho Chi Minh and pay my respects to a
very honorable man who made his country free.  If he was only alive today to see how the
foreigners returned to take it back.  The country was so poor after the war they literally sold
off all their resources.  Rubber back to the French, old growth lumber to the Indonesians,
Shrimp rights to the Thai, tourism to the Chinese, the list goes on and on. 
 After WWII when the French refused to join NATO unless they got back some of Vietnam, it
became divided with half to Vietnam…Ho Chi Minh and the other half split between countries
like Berlin but eventually to the French.  Ho Chi Minh…begrudgingly accepting the Northern
part , established it by reciting our Declaration of Independence verbatim…then launched his
war to oust the French and then the puppet regime that included the USA. That is not the
exact story but pretty much like it was.  He was our ally during WWII and helped rescue many
a downed US pilot and was awarded a silver plated US Army issue Colt 45 by Col Stillwell for
in honor of his efforts…he said …I just want my country back. He finally did in 1975 but even
though he was instrumental in the Paris Peace talks he passed away before see the fruit of his
labor.  Did I mention he attended Columbia University in N.Y. and helped pay for it as a
busboy at the Waldorf back in the 30’s? He was a Communist through and through but born
out of necessity with Colonial France occupying his country most of his life.
I hope to get a haircut and a massage tomorrow before packing up to sleep with the villagers.
 Maybe buy some warm clothes. 
Well I got up 10 minutes late to meet my Motorbike Driver, Doan.  I rushed downstairs and
informed him I would be another 10 minutes then returned, took a shower and we speed off
on his Motorbike.  I requested the Ho Chi Minh Monument but he informed me that it is
closed.  I said we would have to do that when I returned on Monday and he informed me it
was closed on Monday.  We now are scheduled for Tuesday just before I depart on the plane
for Da Nang.  I suggested we have breakfast then.  He took me to a great little place and we
had Chicken Noodle Soup then went to the Cathedral and took a photo before stopping at a
Cafe for some great Vietnamese coffee. I told him about my trip to Sa Pa today and he
suggested I get some warm clothes.  I didn’t want to pack my own jacket and now need
something in case it snows…it does on occasion. We went to a second hand clothing shop
and I still ended up paying $10 for a jacket and hope it works.
  We next visited the Hanoi Hilton where John McCain stayed from 1967-1973.  They knocked
down most of it and put up the Hanoi Towers, a very upscale hotel…as if to say…so there!
I wanted to buy Cinnamon for Marjorie’s Birthday and he said he could get it at the market.
I don’t know the name for cinnamon in Vietnamese but suspect it sounds like whatever limes
are in Vietnamese.  He stopped by his house and asked his wife where to buy it and she took
us down the street and was very proud that she got a large bag of cinnamon for so cheap.  
They were limes and I explained I can’t take fresh cinnamon on the plane (by now I gave up
trying to explain what I wanted)  He said I could take anything.   So for $1 I took home a bag
of limes. 
It was time for a cup of real authentic Vietnamese coffee.  Doan knew the best…and it was
outstanding.
We next went to get a haircut but she was busy so we went around the corner at a cafe that
was close by. It was in the Fine Arts Museum Complex and since I had an hour to wait, Doan
gave me his extra cell phone and I went to the Museum then called him when I was done.  He
came over and we waited a little longer before she could get me in.  I asked her to trim my
eyebrows so she got out her straight razor and proceeded to trim both the top and under my
eyebrow.  I never had a blade that close to my eyes! Next she took these huge Q Tips and did
both my ears.  I think she had little miniature scissors and cut the hairs while wearing this
headlamp to see with.   When the haircut was done Doan took me home and I paid him $20
for the day and agreed to meet him on Tuesday for the Ho Chi Minh tour of the Mausoleum,
his house and the Ho Chi Minh Museum.  He admonished me for being late today and
reminded me to be prompt on Tuesday. 
I returned to my room and tried to get online with Merrill Lynch.  They wanted my Mother’s
middle name and I spelled it wrong or something so I am now locked out of my account until
I call them.  I tried to call but it is 4 am in NYC on the 8th of January.  I won’t be able to try
again until Monday the 11th.  Travel! 
Leif, my traveling Danish friend,  just called me on Skype to say hello.  We chatted a bit but as
usual I was having a hard time hearing him even with my headphones on.  He was in Kuala
Lumpur and did not like the fact that IF he could get a beer it cost a fortune, but that is Leif.
  It was good to chat with him.  He is on his way to Melbourne in a few days.  
In preparation for my trip I thought it best to hit an ATM machine and stock up as these
mountain villages may not have one and I’d be begging for food.  I found a bank open but
their ATM was out of money.  The two down the street were out of order.  The other around
the corner and down another street was out of order then I found one that talked to me. How
much do you want?  Give me all you got!  I punched in 200000 then enter before I realized
that was only $10…I wanted 2000000 or $100 so did it again and got charged two fees of
$1.50 each.  So finally I have money but haven’t eaten and time is running short.  I bought a
Pate sandwich at the shop I ate at the night before.  It was like a submarine sandwich and cost
$.75 so I put it in my tourist bag I bought at Ha Long Bay. 
The next morning I came down to wait for the Minibus and the cheap zipper broke on my
cheap bag…so I needed another bag.   I left and went next door.  $10 later I had a smaller but
useful bag and barely transferred everything into it.  I went to a restaurant in a hotel down the
street and ordered a stir fried beef and pineapple dish with rice washed down with Hanoi
Lager.
 It was still early when I arrived back at the Atlantic Hotel so went next door and sat with the
midget.  I bought a bottle of Hanoi Vodka and a Fanta Orange and squatted on one of those
kiddie chairs and had a drink while chatting it up.  I poured what was left of the orange into
the Hanoi Vodka bottle and returned to the Hotel to catch the taxi to the train station.   A large
contingent of Aussies arrived from Hoi An which is where I was headed in a few days.  We
exchanged notes and I wrote down two hotels for under $30 that were quite nice to try and
book at a later date.
The taxi arrived and one Dutchman joined me.  His name was Pim and we hit it off right away.
  We arrived to mass chaos at the train station
but our tour guide got us our tickets to and from Sa Pa and directed us to the train car we were
to board.  We got to our compartment to find I was in the top bunk and Pim, in another
compartment, was in the bottom.  I asked if he would swap as I didn’t relish climbing back
and forth in the dark of the night to go down the hall to use the toilet..two or three times.  He
agreed and I ended up with a lower berth in a compartment shared with a Thai mother and
her two sons from Bangkok.  One was a Professor of Property Law and the other a student at
Bangkok University.  We crawled in our beds and agreed to sleep early.  I tried to read with
my book lite but it was uncomfortable in the bunk and I eventually gave up and tried to sleep. 
   The train rocked clickity click and I was soon asleep.  Then the train lurched and then it
screeched to a halt and we all woke …then it went clickity clack and we all went to sleep.  Then
it lurched and then it screeched…well you get the point.   I was up and down 3 times during
the night and didn’t get much sleep.  At around 5 am a loud knock came on the door so we all
got up and turned on the lights , etc but it was only to announce a stop that none of us were
getting off at. 
 We went back to sleep then awoke to loud Vietnamese music and another knock…this was our
stop.  We got off the train and tried to board a tour bus that I thought was ours when Pim
inquired if there was any charge for this bus. There was…so this was not ours.  We went further
and found a guy with a sign and our name on it.  We identified ourselves and he put us in a
corner to wait until the rest of the group showed.  When they did we boarded the bus and I fell
right asleep.  The bus stopped and I woke to see Pim bolting out the door and across the field
to take a pee.  There was no bathrooms on the bus so he requested a pit stop. 
 The lady across from me struck up a conversation…where you from …what you name..when I
asked her the same she said she was from Sa Pa and was just returning from her first trip to
Europe and had left Paris early that morning.  There was a foot of snow on the ground and
she was glad to be home.  Well it was cold in Sa Pa but I adjusted thanks to my new jacket.  I
know I slept on the ride to the hotel because Pim showed me photos he took of me snoring
away.
 We arrived at the Hotel and were told to meet the tour guide at 9am for the day’s adventures. 
I wanted a hot shower and sleep.  We were given a breakfast of chicken noodle soup and told
we could use the showers downstairs and when we returned that afternoon, we would be
assigned our rooms.  Our tour guide explained there were 8 of us in the group and what the
game plan was. He then gave us a brief tour of the morning Market and the Aussie was
interested in trying the Dog.
We left for a tribal Hmong village by Minivan. They made up about 50% of the population of
around 4000.  The mornings are foggy and cold.  We spent a couple hours visiting one village
on the outskirts of town.  Pimm had opted for three days and four nights so he was part of
another program. An Aussie joined me along with two oriental couples from Australia…with
Australian accents..not in the least bit oriental except for looks.  There was another real oriental
couple.   
 We were taken to the top of this mountain and let off to begin our journey.
 It was all downhill and beautiful.  The people and the villages we passed by were real and
after an hour or two we arrived in a Hmong village and spent an hour touring before descending
further to a waterfalls. We  saw their homes and how they dyed there clothes , what they ate
and in general just got a feel as to how they live.    There was a BBQ of different native tidbits
at the waterfalls that we could purchase for lunch.  We did and then started our journey back
up and up and up.  I was tiring when we finally came to a curve and some Motor Bikes wanting
to know if we needed a ride for $5.  I jumped on but the Aussie continued his trek the entire
way back. 
I took some pictures around the town before returning to the hotel to get my room.  When I
arrived, our guide got my key and took me to the room.  It looked OK so I dumped my stuff as
he urged me to come with him for a brief summary of what we would be doing this afternoon
and tomorrow.  I locked up and after our meeting, the Aussie and I, went out for some Hot
Hmong Wine then I returned to the room to shower before I left on our next adventure.  
When I got to the room I noticed the balcony door open and looked out to see that all the
balconies connected so someone could have entered the room  and as  it turned out did.  All
I could ascertain that was stolen was my headphones and mp3 player….total of $250 worth of
stuff …and my chocolate! There was not much I could do so joined the group.
 It was 2pm and time for our afternoon Motorbike trip to the top of the highest mountain peak
in Southeast Asia and to visit another waterfalls.  We could rent a Motorbike for $5 or pay $7.50
and hire a driver and ride on the back of his bike.  I opted for that. We took off up the mountain
.  The sky had cleared and the sun felt good. It was a long winding ride and we stopped for gas
before reaching the summit. We arrived at our destination then went on to visit the waterfall .
The trail went downhill through beautiful forests.  It looked like New England or Colorado…It
was cold and windy but the sun was out and it had cleared up.  The views were spectacular. I
got about halfway down the mountain and realized it was going to be a chore for me to return
from where we were, let alone from further down the trail, so I begged off and started back.  
Shortly after I got back the Aussie showed up.  He ran back up again after seeing the falls.  A
half hour later the others arrived and we returned to dinner and a stroll around the village of
Sa Pa.  I was invited to eat dog and horse that night but retired under 6 insulated blankets and
slept well.
I heard all about the dog the next morning.  It was like a pig that was rolled in dog shit.  The
horse was great.  We took a Mini Bus to the local Hmong Village and spent the morning there.
 We had lunch and then ventured into another village of Red Hat Hmong.  There are 5 different
tribes.  It was a great trip and long.  I got a lot of great exercise as well as pictures and while
waiting for our Mini Van back, I ran into Pim.  He did spend the night with the villagers.   I
thought I was supposed to stay with them too but glad I ended up at the hotel .  He said I didn’t
miss anything but they did have fun.  He certainly was having fun.  He had on the headdress of
the local tribe and was drinking beer while soaking up the sun. We were picked up that evening
around 6 pm.
  We left the hotel as a group and arrived an hour and a half later at the train station bound
for Hanoi.  None of us had our tickets but had vouchers.  We finally found a man that cashed
in our vouchers but we still had an hour or so before departure so I grabbed my Aussie buddy
and recommended we skip across the street for a beer.  He agreed but on the way we saw a
little stall that was roasting corn.  They are all over VN but neither of us have tried them so we
agreed to have a beer and an ear of corn.  Then we had another beer and some roasted chestnuts
.  It was time to leave so we headed for the train station after settling up the bill and bidding all
our new friends goodbye. 
 We got to the train and I tried to board but they said I had to wait for the next train in an hour
and a half.  All my group was on this train including the Aussie and I’m arguing with an official
that I belong on this train and they are telling me not.  I ran back to the guy who issued me the
ticket and he agreed with the official.  I had to wait another hour and a half.  Well this is going
to screw up my arrival as the tour operator is planning on me arriving with the train that is now
taking off.
 I found an internet Cafe and had a drink while catching up on my emails.   The time on the
computer said 9:15 so my train leaves at 9:40  I ran back to the station and showed the
conductor my ticket and he directed me to car 10.  I boarded and went to berth 1 to find it full.
 I showed the man my ticket and he showed me his with the same berth assignment.  Then after
a second look, he said your train doesn’t leave until 9:40 and this is the 9:00 pm train.  I asked
if I could sleep on their floor but they declined my request and I put my tail between my legs
and returned to the station where I met Anne from Darwin.
  She was carrying a backpack that was about the same size as herself.  She also was carrying
another normal backpack in front of her and a large basket full of goodies she had collected in
Lao Cai, the village where the train station is located.  She was an environmental research
something or other and worked in the outback.  We finally boarded the correct train and I
found my berth when two Vietnamese join me.   One couldn’t walk and his brother threw him  
down on the bed unconscious. 
 He and I chatted a bit before calling in a night.  I only got up twice that night and managed
some sleep.  At 7 am we arrived in Hanoi but no one was waiting for me.  I took a Motorbike to
the hotel to discover they gave my room away to someone else and would have to put me on a
fourth floor walk up room in a Guesthouse down the street.  I got on a Motorbike and checked
in.  They brought my luggage over and I told them I wanted to move into MY HOTEL that
afternoon.  They agreed to make an arrangement and take care of it.  I showered and will now
take a nap.  I will go have breakfast later, return to the hotel to drop my laundry so I can have it
when I leave tomorrow, and check my email.  
It all turned out OK and they gave me a room , did my laundry, and I went out for lunch at
Little Hanoi where I met a lady from Vegas that just arrived from a Bicycle tour in Chiang Mai
with her husband who was on a business trip in Hanoi and they were leaving for Singapore the
next day.  I returned to the room and got a bite to eat and settled in to bed .  Tomorrow is my
Ho Chi Minh day and flight to Da Nang.

Doan, my driver, was right on time and Pim from the Netherlands was on the internet in the
lobby.  He just returned from his trip to Sa Pa and we exchanged emails. I jumped on the
Motorbike and a few minutes later pulled up to a mile long line at the Mausoleum.  Doan
dropped me off while he parked his bike and assured me there would be no wait for me.  We
proceeded to walk by everyone in line right up to the security check point where he pointed
me out to the head of security and she ushered me through.  I started to put my wallet and jacket through the Xray machine and the guard just told me to walk through.  I set off the alarm and another guard waved that wand over me and set off his alarm.  Then they both said to go on.  Never looked in my pockets or cared.  Doan takes them out to lunch and buys them drinks after work!  I did stand in a procession leading by the Tomb of Ho Chi Minh.  Guards reprimanded the man in front of me for putting his hands in his pocket.  They insist you dress proper and behave properly to show respect.  I put my hands behind me and was reprimanded for not keeping them at my side. Ho was on display.  I don’t know if that was a wax model or if they have him preserved since 1969 when he died.  I returned to meet Doan they we toured the grounds and he directed me to the Museum and we agreed on a meeting place after.  It took about an hour for me to see what I wanted so left and met Doan.  I offered to buy him lunch and we  returned to the restaurant we first ate at.  It was so good.  I tipped him and gave him my jacket hoping I would no longer need it after I arrived in Da Nang. I will take a brief nap then off to the airport..I made the airport.  All the time I was in Hanoi, I never saw the sun or any paper towels to wipe your hands after washing….goodbye Hanoi. 

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