I made a promise to myself that for each Thai visa run for the next 12 months I’d see a new country. I was getting sick of doing the boring bus trips to Cambodia, and would rather slit my wrists, run my hairy balls over shared glass and suck off a Thai ladyboy in Soi Nana than visit Laos again.
As my good friend Jeff says, no thanks.
I was eying up a visit to Hong Kong until I looked up hotel prices and changed my mind. Perhaps I’ll go there next year when I sell a few more eBooks. In the end I saw a cracking flight from BKK airport to Hanoi for 4,000 baht and booked up.
Hanoi a city ruined by backpackers
I really like Hanoi. The streets are small with locals zigging and zagging on their scooters, people selling all kinds of stuff with a nice whiff of sewage hitting you every now and then bringing you back into the here and now.
There’s always something hitting the senses as you make your way along the broken footpaths that all try to snap your ankle in several places.
Every few minutes I’d end up seeing a backpacker. They weren’t normal backpackers either, they all happened to fit some cliché whether it was dread locks, colored hair, hippy pants or walking around at 11am with a beer in hand.
Every time I started to enjoy Hanoi, one appeared out of nowhere and ruined everything.
I went to Halong Bay, which is now considered one of the 7 Wonders of Nature, and this is what I saw when I walked on the deck to take in the amazing view:
What the f*** is this? I paid $45 to get on this boat and I’m subjected to this? I almost 300 kicked the sloth off the deck I was so enraged. If we were a little further out at sea, I probably would have.
After seeing this, I couldn’t enjoy the rest of the tour and just wanted to get home back to the comforts of the Internet.
Eating dog meat in Vietnam
I use Airbnb to book hotels and apartments when I travel as I find them to be cheaper than Agoda and other sites quite often (email me if you want an affiliate code for $25 off your next stay).
I booked 3 nights in a hotel on Airbnb and got talking with the owner.
I jokingly asked where I could get some dog meat in Hanoi. He said it’s hard to find in the tourist areas nowadays but he can get his mother to cook me some. I laughed and called the kunt out thinking he was joking, and he said he’d get her to make it the next day.
The next day, he greets me in the lobby and tells his mother has cooked me some dog and it’s delicious (uwotm8?). He invites me into the kitchen and serves me a bowl of dog and rice noodles:
You can see some bits that look like jelly, that was the skin. I’ve always wanted to try dog and now I had my chance. While it looked like a plate of meat that someone had regurgitated, he was right – it was f****ing delicious.
I was expecting it to be tuff like beef, but it was quite tender and had a sweet after taste. The dog was on the bone and I ripped every piece of meat I could and was licking my hands after.
I then joked and ask if he could get me some cat. He said according to the Chinese calendar, the first half of the month they eat cat, while the second half they eat dog. Guess I’ll have to come here again.
To learn more about eating dog meat in Vietnam, this article is pretty good.
Getting a Visa for Vietnam
From June 2015 until June 2016, Vietnam has lifted the visa requirements for a number of countries for tourists that want to stay less than 15 days. A visa used to cost you around $50 but now you can just land at the airport and get stamped for 15 days.
Note: I went to Hanoi on holiday, I already have a triple entry visa so I did not go there to get a visa.
Should you go to Hanoi?
I enjoyed my time in Hanoi a lot more than I thought. The city has a pretty touristy feel due to all the backpackers. It’s a cheap place to stay and attracts a lot backpackers in their early 20s.
I don’t think backpackers are really the problem, it has more to do with the fact that I hate everybody I don’t know. If anything, I’m the problem, not them.
I did enjoy my time there and checking out Halong Bay was also cool:
It was quite a cheap visa run too. You can get decent hotels for under $30, the food is really cheap (even at high-end places) and it’s a fun place to walk around and check stuff out.
For further reading on Hanoi, check out a quick guide, Andy’s trip report and these tips to avoid getting scammed.
Have you guys been to Hanoi or eaten dog meat in Vietnam? Leave a comment below yo!