Christmas Holiday 2014 Day 1&2

Our arrival at Hanoi airport on Saturday was not the best.
Visa on arrival – took 1 hour
Baggage claim – took another 1.5 hours
Mum’s suitcase (& about 40 other people’s suitcases) went missing – no big surprise, as the airport was total chaos – after queuing & filling in all the baggage claim paperwork, Vietnam Airlines then did find all the bags. I was very happy as I didn’t like the idea of Mum sharing my clothes! We finally arrived at the Hilton & had loads of VIP treatment, as Anna’s brother Peter is the general manager – unfortunately we were only there a few
hours before leaving for the airport again. Still at Hanoi airport, we went through boarding & onto a bus which then drove around the airport & back to the gate we started at. We were then given back our boarding pass stubs. The weather in Hue suddenly (while we were on the bus, I assume) turned bad & so we were delayed. We had a drink back at the terminal, but we were not sure how much “Last Christmas” & very friendly Vietnamese ladies in Santa outfits we were in the mood for! Eventually we left Hanoi for Hue.

In Hue we visited:
– Khai Dinh’s tomb
There was a LOT of mosaic.
The funniest quote from our guide was “I am sorry to say this, but his adopted son was gay” – he also wore a lot of lipstick for his portrait.

-Thien Mu (celestial lady) Pagoda
Overlooking the Perfume River.
Constructed in 1601, it is a 21metre tall tower representing the seven reincarnations of Buddha.
We also saw the Austin car that was driven to Saigon by a monk who set fire to himself in protest for the freedom of religions in 1963. Apparently his heart was found, and they put it in a 4000°C oven and it still didn’t melt!

– The Dong Ba Market
We got Dad a new Tintin T-shirt, as his one from Kathmandu is a bit worn out.
We chose a waterproof raincoat for me (just before Mum found my old Japanese one). However, my new one is really very good – goretex! Mum bought herself some peppercorns and ginger.

– Les Jardins De La Carambole for lunch
I know the name is French, but they did have some Vietnamese food as well. The chick on top of the morning glory Mum said was probably bamboo so I tried some. I said it was spicy, so Mum said it was probably ginger. I had more before Dad tried some & said “Oh s*** it’s raw garlic!”.

– The Imperial Citadel
We had a look around at the very old buildings and then went on a cyclo tour around the old city and Tinh Tam lake (not Tim Tam which is an Australian chocolate biscuit).

Then we went to our hotel, had dinner and then a good nights sleep. Our shoes were very wet from all the rain, so Dad created a “shoe drying system”.

Thomas Roberts


  1. Granny Devon · · Reply

    After rather a slow start it seems that you are having a good time apart from the weather – hope it improves soon.

    Continue to have a wonderful holiday and a very Happy Christmas. Xxx


  2. what a great time you’re having and glad you got to the Hilton – hope you saw Peter. x x x


    1. We will be seeing Peter on Boxing Day.


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