We hopped on the plane from Seattle at about 2:45 PM and arrived to Seoul at 6:00 PM (this is after 11 hours of flying). When we arrived we had to get our temperature measured to make sure we weren’t at risk for swine flu, then we made our way to our gate. The Seoul Airport is gorgeous. Contemporary and modern with tons of high end shops and restaurants. It was very fancy. After waiting about an hour we hopped on our plane to Hanoi and arrived at 9:50 PM. We got through customs pretty smoothly and met our very energetic tour guide Hieu. My cousins used Hieu and his tour guide company a few months ago and he came highly recommended and we could see why. Even after meeting him for only an hour, we knew we were going to be in good hands because of his knowledge of the country, his amazing English skills, and his constant effort to make us happy.
We checked into the Sunway Hotel in Hanoi and slept until the next day. Nick and I didn’t get much sleep so we got up, showered and then walked outside at about 7 AM and we got blasted with the heat. We walked around the block and in about 15 minutes the humidity completely soaked our clothes right through so we said lets go back to the hotel and cool off. We ate brunch at the Hotel which was extremely fancy. They had everything under the sun, French foods and pastries, American food, and even Pho! We headed out to explore with Bob and Erin again and walked through the streets of Hanoi. It was so blazing hot and humid. Nothing like the Tri Cities. We walked to a lake and Circus Park which at one time was probably very popular. It looked as though it was going through some rennovations. We walked back to the hotel and met with Hieu for an amazing 7 course lunch, exchanged some money at the bank and got a sim card to pop into Bob’s phone. We went to the famous One Pillage Pagoda floating on the West Lake of Hanoi that was over 600 years old. We also got to ride on sitlows for an hour which took us through the streets of Hanoi. It was a ton of fun to see the different pockets of the city. There are scooters EVERYWHERE! We had another fantastic 9 course dinner then hopped on the overnight train to Lao Cai, Sapa.