Ivan, Jennifer and I woke up early on November 16, 2008. We met the whole group at the restaurant again for breakfast. It was banana & chocolate pancakes. It was good. We boarded a new boat and were leaving Cat Ba Island. Ivan and Jennifer mostly just read their books. I liked to bask in the sun while eating a banana. We took the 3 1/2 hour bus again back to Hanoi. We got back to the Hanoi Backpackers Hostel around 4 pm. We checked into a new dorm room at The Other Side. Our room was called Swingers.
We had dinner at the Cyclo Restaurant. It was a bit expensive and the food didn’t have much flavor. It wasn’t worth it for the prices we paid.
The seats were cyclos though. That was cool!
We went back to the hostel. We weren’t up for much since we were exhausted. Ivan went on the internet while Jennifer continued reading her book. Ivan slept quite early. Jennifer finished her book and then went to bed.
We wanted to walk around Hanoi on November 17, 2008. It was our last day here. We would be taking a bus later on to Ninh Binh, Vietnam. We found the post office and mailed off our postcards. We found the 69 bar and restaurant. We had a great lunch. Jennifer had the chicken 69 style. Ivan ordered the fish skewers. It was a big dish that let him create his own fresh spring rolls.
I had banana and fish steamed in a banana leaf. We definitely enjoyed our food.
We walked to the lake again. We went to the temple there. It didn’t have much there though. We walked to the prison. It was nicknamed the Hanoi Hilton.
It showed cells and pictures about the prison. We saw a guillotine. They had the clothes of John McCain when he was arrested.
Ivan thought it was a bit creepy. The prison used to be a lot larger. Part of it was demolished to make way for a big building.
We walked back to the hostel. We packed everything up and left in a taxi. We got on the bus headed to Ninh Binh at 5:45 pm. We finally left about 6 pm. We were the only ones on the bus. We kept driving on. We noticed a guy was trying to get passengers. The bus ride wasn’t too exciting. I listened to Jennifer’s iPod. Ivan and Jennifer watched a few Family Guy episodes. The bus stopped and the guy said it was Ninh Binh. We were parked on the side of the small highway. He placed our backpacks outside while we gathered our daypacks. We walked towards some buildings. A lady approached us about staying at a hotel. Ivan said no. We were trying to find a hotel that was recommended in the Lonely Planet. It seemed really far though. So, Ivan thought we’d look at the rooms. We thought it was nice and reasonably priced. We had some dinner there. It was okay. We went upstairs to watch some television. The satellite tv had Disney Channel and MTV. We watched Disney Channel. We decided to go to bed early.