Stickman Readers' Submissions January 4th, 2011

Capitalism Is Alive And Well In Hanoi

Well it is way past time to send in another travel report from my Asian travels, and no this time I was chased around in Antipolo, the Philippines by ladyboys..<smiles>.

For me I always get a little worried that my travel musings will not pass the Stickman critical eye, but I hope this one makes it in.

He Clinic Bangkok

Well I went back to crazy ass Hanoi, on September 28, and stayed for a month. I still think Hanoian drivers would beat Thai drivers hands down. If anything, Hanoi has gotten even worse than when I was last there in 2006.

I stayed the first night at Elizabeth Hotel, and that place sux. (I really like to have at least one window to look out, when I'm staying in a "hotel')..ha. After the first night I moved over to the Cameilia4 hotel. That place
is great place and the staff was first rate, all for $28 a night, breakfast included.

I met a long term ex-pat at the same hotel. ("Best of travels Martin. hope to see you back in Hanoi, in April 2011"), He's from Ireland.

CBD bangkok

I arrived in Hanoi on the 28th September and I was very fortunate to get there before the big 1,000-year celebrations. OMG I could not believe how crowded the centre of Hanoi was the last few days before the October 8-10 celebrations.

I felt sorry for the foreigner that had his wallet stolen. I had no idea it was his wallet and it was even him that had lost the wallet. I was shuffling along with the other people, trying to get back to my hotel at 10 PM and an object hit
me in the damn face. I looked around startled, but kept shuffling along with the crowd and someone on the side of me bent down and picked up a wallet and showed it to me to ask if it was mine. Of course it wasn't mine. So the guy that had
picked up the wallet got lost in the crowd, and as soon as I lost sight of him a foreigner and his girlfriend started making a fuss / noise in the crowd and it dawned on me it was his damn wallet that had hit me in the face! So I grab his shirt
and asked the guy if he had lost a wallet and he said yeah! Well, by that time it was way too late to tell him who had his wallet. "Sorry guy, hope everything worked out for you"! There was no way in hell I could have found the guy that
had picked up his wallet.

Certainly there have been a lot of changes in Hanoi since my last visit in 2006.

I think Hanoi has lost its old traditional charm and every shop now is geared towards tourism. Forget haggling for cheapest / best bargains, those days are way over in Hanoi.

wonderland clinic

One observation I noticed in Hanoi is the crazy amount of French people visiting / living in Hanoi. And how do I know there are a lot of French in Hanoi? Go into any restaurant and you'll see baguette, bread & tea. And forget about
finding any American type food. <I hate to tell you that most of us prefer French to American when it comes to food!Stick>

Sure when I'm in an Asian country I'm suppose to be eating the local food, bugs / beetles / snakes but I sure would have liked a real hamburger and fries. I didn't even find anyone selling meat on a stick over there.

In Hanoi, every morning at 8 AM sharp, some guy's voice would come blaring out thru speakers mounted on telephone poles. Yapping something in Vietnamese, I had no idea what he was saying, but every morning I could hear his voice. So
I asked the front desk girls at the Camelia4 Hotel what the guy was saying. And they told me he was warning the citizens about the evils of capitalism. OMG, when I heard that, I just about fell over laughing!

Every merchant and business in Hanoi is feverously grabbing on to capitalistic ideas!

I took a 4-day trip up to Sapa, Vietnam, while I was in Hanoi and I must say that Sapa is a really great place to visit. Sure, it's over run by tourists, but I feel it is a good side trip. If you ever get up to Vietnam, Stick, head over
to Sapa for a day or 3.

After I left Vietnam, I went to China for 3 days then went back to Philippines where I had a great time in Subic Bay. I didn't stay around Angeles city much, because I get tired of the con games and the hardcore looks from the bar girls.

I'm back in Alaska, getting ready to go back fishing for 3 months, then I'll be heading back over to Hanoi / Philippines around mid April.

(P.S. someone should ask me to send in the last story part of the Xe Moto girl from Da Nang;-)


Sounds like you had a nice time. Remember, Vietnam was once controlled by the French, as were Laos and Cambodia, and that is why you see a lot more French visitors in those places these days than you do in say Thailand.

nana plaza