Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Katie's in Hà Nội !

Katie arrived in Hà Nội today!!  I came here last night and had my first run in with a dodgy taxi driver. He quoted 50,000 dong for the ride from the bus station to the hotel, then when we arrived demanded 150,000 dong !! Needless to say, I stood my ground, even when he began abusing me (Hmmm - who taught him that language, I want to know!!) and I refused to pay the extra. Unfortunately I didn't have the right change to pay what showed on the meter before he switched it off, so eventually I handed him the nearest amount I could and left him to it. How dare he!!!   LOL

Anyway, my mate Dũng at Little Hanoi Diamond Hotel organised a car to the airport for me this morning to go and meet Katie and it was just lovely to welcome her back again. Like me, she now switches into Việt Nam mode the minute she steps off the plane and soaks in all the sights and sounds of the journey back into the city. 

She had been up and travelling for 32 hours, so first up she had a snooze, while I went for a walk. A short time later we went to our favourite bánh khúc lady in Câu Gố street... 

...then a stroll that included a drink in the bar at the top of that iconic building that overlooks the round-about at the top end of Hồ Hoàn Kiếm.

...a bit of shopping, and a fresh fruit juice watching the passing parade in front of our hotel for while and then we retreated to the cool of our room so Katie could skype the family, and grab another quick nap.

This was the view from our balcony.


For her first night back in Việt Nam, Katie opted for a night out with dear Will. He wasn't here when she came last year, and he now lives in Hà Nội so it was a wonderful excuse to catch up. He took us to dinner on Chicken Street - to his favourite street food...and it was sooo delicious! (Even late at night the electricians were hard at work on the lines across the road...)

 Honey glazed chicken...

Will has eaten here so often, he is great friends with 'the chicken lady' and he knows all the local characters. He told us this little old lady would come across to say hello and tell us about her husband, the war hero... and sure enough, over she toddled, just like he said.

Will's mate, Đức, joined us and the trio of drinkers soon had the table covered with empties....


Then we had chicken's feet and this amazing bread - rolled flat, then dipped in the honey mixture and BarBQ'd ... better than finger lickin' good!!

From there, we went to a bar for a drink and soon had everyone in the place dancing. It was such a fun night...

Just love Will and Đức ... two of our favourite people, and a fitting welcome for Katie.  Needless to say, we didn't get away as early as originally planned the next morning to return to Hải Phòng. Katie needed plenty of t.l.c. ... 

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