I am skipping my days in Taiwan for now and start with my current trip to Vietnam!
I arrived in the afternoon and was very relieved that I prebooked my Visa online. Here is the thing: If you are from Germany you do not need a visa. But if you are staying longer than 15 days, you do! (This is based on informations from 2016, so please check before you go) If you are planning your trip for some time, get the visa in Germany. Otherwise book it online (vietnamvisapro.net) and pick it up at the airport before immigration. A one-entry permit for a month will cost you 25$ as a German citizen. Bring two passport pictures and the cash and prepare to wait for at least 40 minutes.
Out of the airport I avoided the taxis and took a bus instead (number 90 for 9.000 VNDong). The driver was so nice to tell me when I had to get off the bus and change the lines (number 34, 7.000 VNDong) to get to the My Dinh Bus Station, where my night sleeper bus was supposed to leave for SaPa.
Crossing the street in Hanoi can be more than dangerous. When I waited at the sidewalk for about 10 minutes, one woman, who was with me on my first bus, came back, took me by the hand and literally walked me over the street to my other bus station. She was so cute and I was really thankful! When I arrived at My Dinh They told me that I unfortunately still had to take the taxi to the office of my bus company HaSonHaiVan. Well. The taxi driver did only laugh and did not want to take me, but another guy offered me a ride. Naive as I am, I took his offer and inly when he basically took every turn that was possible did it occure to me, that I might have been able to walk all along. Well; nothing bad happend, I got to the right place in the end, and was only scamped, not robbed… so let’s be thankful for that. And I learned my lesson.
I then took the sleeper bus at 11pm to Sapa (return ticket 450VNDong ~ 20$). TIPP: Do not book this online before. Just make sure to be at the bus station a bit earlier and then buy your one way ticket there. The explanation why will be in one of the next posts. Also, don’t drink before you go and have everything that is very important with you in your bed. Bring a sleeping mask and maybe some sleeping pills – at least I saw some of the girls taking them. I didn’t have any problems with he bus, but I have heard from others that it is nearly impossible to sleep, if you are in one of the lower beds.
Btw, if you take this bus, you will arrive in SaPa at 5am in the morning. What should you do then? -> read more in my next post! 🙂