Felt decidedly better today, just as well as I still had a lot of Hanoi to see and still had to sell my motorbike. I left the hotel about 0800 to go to Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum. I didn’t have breakfast as I didn’t want to tempt fate…
Getting to the mausoleum to a while, most of the time spent just trying to find the entrance and then going through the security checks, there were a LOT of these.
They also made us wait at various points for no apparent reason, maybe to control the flow of people going through. It was worth it though as seeing Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body was fascinating. I’m not even totally sure what he did for Vietnam (will have to do some reading on it!) but it was obviously he is still treated reverentially by the Vietnamese. My interest was slightly more morbid as his body looked like a waxwork figure (especially with the eerie lighting, unfortunately no pictures allowed).
After I went to the B52 lake (more of a pond really) which was interesting, it’s where a B52 was shot down and they have left the remains there. I was the only tourist there at the time.
After I went to pick up my bike after being serviced and then spent the rest of the day trying (unsuccessfully) to sell my bike. Hung around a few hostels with a sign around my bike and also around my neck. There was a bit of interest but no takers.
I gave up eventually and got back to the hotel about 1600. I arranged to meet Katie and Laura for some dinner, I was supposed to see them yesterday but was too ill unfortunately. It when then that I found out that Charlotte Lee had died after an accident in Canada. It was such a shock, that such a kind, selfless person could have their life ended in such a shocking, timeless way. A reminder to me to make the most of my life and to leave a positive mark on the world, no matter how small.
That evening I met the girls for some food and we were joined by Griffin and Maria, friends of Katie and Laura. Both were cool but Griffin was especially cheery and full fo stories. After some food we went to bia hoi corner and had a few cheap beers (I’ve mentioned that it’s 14p a glass before but it’s so amazing I need to repeat it!). Maria left a bit earlier, I think it was because we were geeking out over musical theatre a bit!
When we had finished me and Laura went on an adventure down a dark alley to find the toilet but it was sooooo stinky we didn’t bother. When we got back we couldn’t find Katie and Griffin. We waited and looked around for a while but eventually decided to get some more food.
I took Laura to get bit tet and fried pigeon. Thankfully Laura liked both (I knew she’d like bit tet as it’s like chips and gravy and she is from the North!). After that we said goodbye and I said I’d try to meet everyone at the Lake at 0600. I didn’t promise as I’m awful at waking up early, especially with the comfy bed I have at the moment.