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Hanoi In Black & White

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Photos courtesy of Andrew, a teacher friend in Bangkok.

Hanoi Visa Run

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Having flown into Thailand without getting a visa beforehand, I only had a 30 day tourist visa. So I flew to Hanoi using the convenient online Viet Nam visa application and stayed at the Paradise Boutique Hotel in the Old Quarter for a week. For $40 for a visa stamp they met me at the airport and scooted me through immigration. For an extra fee they even met me at baggage claim and took me to my hotel in a van. So different than the old days!

My old haunt, the Classic Street Guesthouse nearby had tripled in price since I stayed there last. And the Tamarind Cafe is no longer there…replaced by another. To my surprise I found a new Mexican Coffee Shop and Cafe…the name of the shop is Xupito! Pretty close to chupa pito!!…!!!!! (which means suck dick!) Jajaja…really…change the Xu to sh/chup pito. Or Xupito could just be referring to a drunkard who drinks a lot.

Paul, a former couchsurfer in Oaxaca, is in Hanoi where he started The Bamboo School to teach music to young kids in the countryside and is playing gigs with his sax and electronic boards around the city. This is the second time we’ve run into each other in SE Asia…the other time on the street in Bangkok. I love it!

The streets are much busier than before…especially in the Old Quarter where sidewalks are taken up by people selling and cooking and eating where there aren’t parked motorcycles so that you have to walk in the congested street.

Look What I found!

Busy Street

Paul..Former Couchsurfer in Oaxaca

The Germans in Hanoi

Mad Cow Disease Or…?

Saturday, June 28th, 2008
The demonstrators are still at it in South Korea, I see on CNN tonight. When I was in Hanoi this month I was sitting on the front steps of my guesthouse waiting for a van to take me on a ... [Continue reading this entry]

Hanoi Not Burma

Friday, May 23rd, 2008
Well, I gave up on getting a visa to Burma. "You retired? What was your last job? What organization did you work for?" And he didn't like my passport. Too many stamps from too many ... [Continue reading this entry]

Saigon Could Be Mexico

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007
Or one of many other countries I have been in! How to be a Taxi Driver in Saigon - Vietnam, Asia By: Graham Price Positions Available: Applicants Sought Job Title: Taxi Driver Location: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Qualifications Required: Driving license or some previous experience ... [Continue reading this entry]

Dual Pricing

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007
Found a hilarious travel article on Bootnall today about the luxury tax...or dual pricing for foreigners as it is called: The Luxury Tax - Asia, Europe, South America By: Adam Jeffries Schwartz The following is a guide to how the luxury tax is ... [Continue reading this entry]

A Field Guide To Getting Lost

Monday, June 5th, 2006
My son, Josh, the little weasel, asked me what it felt like to be living alone in Oaxaca. It got me to thinking. Then I picked up a book at Sharon's apartment entitled "A field Guide To Getting Lost," ... [Continue reading this entry]

A Harley in Viet Nam

Saturday, June 18th, 2005
1wXSp3CkNsDoJl3s0SgHmw-2006171162818157.gif June 10, 2004 While I was in Bangkok Bob flew to Vietnam. He wrote to say he had difficulties accessing the web today and spent most of the day traveling. His emails: Now in Da lat ... [Continue reading this entry]

Jazz In Familiar Old Quarter Hanoi

Friday, April 1st, 2005
I had to check out of Thailand...thought my visa was 90 days that I got in Kunming in December but it was only 60 days. So at the end of March I had to pay a hefty fine at ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Communist Party

Sunday, October 20th, 2002
People everywhere in Viet Nam confided in me, as a foreigner who would not know who to tell anyway, that they hated the corrupt officials in the Communist Party that are entangled in a growing web of organised crime. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Catholics In Vietnam

Sunday, October 20th, 2002
Catholics have never had an easy time of it in Vietnam beginning with the Confucian elite who opposed the intrusions of missionaries among whom was Alexandre de Rhodes who devised the system of romanisation of the Vietnamese language. Catholics ... [Continue reading this entry]

‘Peaceful Evolution’

Sunday, October 20th, 2002
In Viet Nam, the enemies of the Communist Party, in the absence of conflict, has become the democracy and human rights promoted by the forces of 'peaceful evolution.' Enemy jets unload tourist dollars and foreign investment rather than bombs. ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Myth of “Nam”

Thursday, October 17th, 2002
7VJvlOW1A5Ali2rnovusuM-2006216180228245.gif The male fantasy of Saigon that was nurtured in Graham Greene's "The Quiet American" written in the 1950's is recreated superficially in bars in Saigon with names like Apocalypse Now and B4 75 where, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Tourism Vietnamese Style

Wednesday, October 16th, 2002
7VJvlOW1A5Ali2rnovusuM-2006216180228245.gif From the 200 kilometers of the Cu Chi tunnels, six layers deep just outside Saigon, the Viet Cong (South Vietnamese communist fighters) planned their campaigns on the South Vietnamese and American bases that ringed ... [Continue reading this entry]


Monday, October 14th, 2002
7VJvlOW1A5Ali2rnovusuM-2006216180228245.gif I wrote this in the Cambodian Foreign Correspondent's Club. Most countries have them...It's a good place to get away from the moto taxis, the cyclos and beggars, the heat and to read ... [Continue reading this entry]

Making Friends in Lang Co

Saturday, October 12th, 2002
KtJTxGv4eiozwJxI0Lb6qM-2006216170118412.gif Spent the night in a cheap backpacker hotel before boarding an air conditioned tour bus the next morning for Danang. On the way to Danang though, we pass through Lang Co, a small ... [Continue reading this entry]

To Hue On A Sack Of Rice

Friday, October 11th, 2002
KtJTxGv4eiozwJxI0Lb6qM-2006216170118412.gif My motorcycle taxi driver, Mr. Binh, takes me to a small cafe by the side of the road leading out of Quang Tri where we wait to wave down a local kamazake minibus that ... [Continue reading this entry]

Quang Tri

Tuesday, October 8th, 2002
KtJTxGv4eiozwJxI0Lb6qM-2006216170118412.gif The next morning in Dong Ha, Mr. Binh picks me up at 8:00 and the hotel owner toasts us with tea before we motorcycle about 25 km south to Quang Tri. We visit ... [Continue reading this entry]

Vinh Moc Tunnels

Sunday, October 6th, 2002
KtJTxGv4eiozwJxI0Lb6qM-2006216170118412.gif I freak in the 2.5 km of tunnels at Vinh Moc just a few kilometers north of Dang Ha and beg to be led out of the nearest exit. This maze of underground passageways ... [Continue reading this entry]

Viet Kiew

Saturday, October 5th, 2002
KtJTxGv4eiozwJxI0Lb6qM-2006216170118412.gif In Dong Ha, my motorcycle taxi driver and I talk about Vietnam and America and the Viet Kiew, the Vietnamese Americans that return to visit. He greatly resents these people who come back ... [Continue reading this entry]

Dong Ha and the DMZ

Friday, October 4th, 2002
KtJTxGv4eiozwJxI0Lb6qM-2006216170118412.gif October 4, 2002 Stumbled off the night train from Hanoi at 6am and found a seat at the outdoor railroad station cafe to dump my bags and have a wake-up Vietnamese coffee that is ... [Continue reading this entry]

Getting Blessed

Thursday, October 3rd, 2002
Getting into Hanoi late on the train after visiting Sapa, I walked into a hotel down the street from the train station because I was going to leave again the next afternoon on the train for Dang Ha in Central ... [Continue reading this entry]


Tuesday, October 1st, 2002
KtJTxGv4eiozwJxI0Lb6qM-2006216170118412.gif Tuesday October 1-3, 2002 Took the narrow gauge train to Lao Cai on the Chinese border and then traveled an hour by 4-wheel drive over a torturously slow single lane dirt road to the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Hanoi City Tour

Wednesday, September 25th, 2002
Wasn't excited by the city bus tours so spent an entire day riding behind a motorcycle taxi guy to visit the One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature and the Martyrs Monument erected to those who died fighting for Viet Nam's ... [Continue reading this entry]


Wednesday, September 25th, 2002
KtJTxGv4eiozwJxI0Lb6qM-2006216170118412.gif September 24 2002 Bob left Hanoi right away on the train for Sapa near the Chinese border to do some trekking among the colorful minority villages and then to spend three days in Halang Bay ... [Continue reading this entry]