Vietnam: The Long Unknown – Update 1

Plans don’t seem to work. So, out of the blocks, new rules already applied. No rules were set, but a daily blog is likely out of the question, versus a weekly blog which feels like a lot of detail might be missed. Your best current option is therefore a simple sequential ‘update’ entry.

The last few blog posts were either about the trip, or the contents of the trip. At time of writing the trip has already begun. Heathrow to Hanoi (via Bangkok) Sorry about that. I truly intended to give you pre-flight updates of sort but to be honest the actual travel to Vietnam was relatively painless.

The first flight was fine. No other way to put it, really. As much as a long haul that it was (12 hrs), they provided plenty of entertainment in the form of movies, documentaries and soundtracks to keep me occupied. I planned to watch 4 movies (Boy Hood, Into The Storm, Transformers: Age Of Ultron and Guardians Of The Galaxy), though I ended up with just two, with high hopes of watching the others on the way home. With a spare seat between myself and a fellow passenger (who spoke only on take-off and landing, 12 hours apart) it was comfortable overall.

Second flight was more fruitful (Bangkok to Hanoi) It appeared the Captain required several “bunny hops” before actual takeoff, as we skipped along the runway. I envisioned headlines such as “plane explodes after runway error”, or “runway tragedy as jet liner explodes on takeoff”. We took off, flew, and landed unscathed. It is worth mentioning the fact that Vietnam Airlines rules seem to suggest the handing out of hot towels (which were actually cold) be done exactly at the point of departure. You know, when every other airline has their crew strapped in with instruction, VA appeared to attempt to get ahead of schedule instead. Comical. If not serious.

Flight food was great. Beef and noodles, or spicy fish, or rice and salad. I chose spicy fish on the VA flight, mainly because I thought she said “fizzy chips”. She actually said “fish and rice”. T’was tasty.

Accommodation was useful too. Cheap as chips at $5 a night. We’ve got used to comparing everything to prices in the UK or the USA. Seems utterly insane that a beer is 80p, a 3 course meal is £3 and a motorbike is £150.

Of things to note for the future, red bottles don’t necessarily mean tomato sauce. In Vietnam they more likely mean CHILLI sauce. For me, this does not bode well. Breakfast and lunch have been interesting so far. As have the trips to the loo. Say no more?

IMG_0022.JPG

So within our first 2 days we’ve secured bikes from a local dealer, had a local garage service them both, trialled them on the local streets and prepared our first route for departure into the unknown. All without being arrested. Have I mentioned foreigners owning bikes is illegal?

So we’re ready to go!

Here’s my licence (probably owned by a thousand others previously)…

IMG_0021.JPG

And here’s our choice of bikes; the Honda Win…

About Mercian Media

My name is Alex, and I work in the Film and TV industry. I work freelance for various employers on several shows including Big Brother, Celebrity Big Brother, Sky News, Sky Sports, London Live, Bloomberg and QVC. All views are my own.

2 responses to “Vietnam: The Long Unknown – Update 1”

  1. Iris says :

    I’m glad your flight went rather smoothly overall. Honestly, I get worried at least once on every flight over 3 hours. I was thrilled we had individual TV screens on my last flight to Vancouver. They didn’t have them when I flew 10 years ago. This shows how seldom I travel. Cheers and have a great trip!

  2. Liz Duncan says :

    Hope you are both having a great time. I am enjoying reading your blog, you always make me laugh. Take care always… Mum. X

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: