Hanoi, first days in Vietnam 2020

After 2 days flight with stopover in Doha, I arrived in Hanoi. It is the second biggest city in Vietnam.

Even though I was tired after almost sleepless 2 nights, had exactly planned my first hours after landing.

Essential set of each traveller includes:

Get a visa on the airport (arranged prior to coming) took me around 1 hour. Dull, yet stressless experience. Fill in the exactly same form as you did when applying for approval letter few weeks before, give all the documents to the officer, and wait.

Staring at that screen showing the applicant names (photos forbidden). Wait some longer. Don’t fall asleep, don’t go to bathroom, cause the system won’t read your name. You’d better not screw up at this stage.

Some hundred names later (mostly from Korea- now I know that “Park” is a prevailing name there) Mine was displayed.

-Fifti dalla plis (50 USD).

-Senk ju.


Now in the line through immigration. Slowly, but steadily I was going to cross the border.

After being officially welcomed by immigration officer, I went straight to money exchange office. Usually, the exchange rate on the airports is among the worst. Here it was even better than the application showed me before.

Not thinking twice, exchanged the amount that would let me live a humble, yet prosperous life for next few weeks in Vietnam (or proper party in Paris, to give you, Dear Reader, a scale). 300 USD got transformed into millions of Dongs. Hooray, a millionaire once in a lifetime!

Also bought a sim card, since it is essential to have it for longer trips.

I was ready to set my foot on the bus. He was awaiting. Had the best seat waiting for me, plenty of legroom, panoramic view. Life is good.

Soon I discovered that the bus was the fastest moving vehicle on the way. It was slaloming through the other, slower vehicles, often honking “GIVE A WAY BITCHES, i’M BIGGER”.

So after only 40 minutes we reached the destination.

Happy to get a shower, I soon fell asleep.

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