Sunday, 3 April 2011

I'm off to China

Sunday 3rd April 2011

MP3 track of the day: Suspicious minds – Elvis Presley

Weather: Cloudy but surprisingly warm


Even though there was no particular reason to get up early, I still found myself within the shower at 8:30am. After lazing around I left the hostel around 10am, searching for money. I needed to search out a 'Vietbank ATM' as they didn't charge me for withdrawing. I went to one I'd used a couple of days ago only to find it out of order. I back-tracked, heading back to my hostel, stopping at various ATM's along the way. For some bizarre reason most were out of order and I wondered whether there had been a problem (brilliant timing considering it's a Sunday). Ironically, after walking around for about twenty minutes, I found two 'Vietbank' ATM's within a minutes walking distance of my hostel. I had previously missed these and there they were both working fine. As I withdrew my money I thought about how much harder my traveling life would be without ATM's. For me ATM's are one of the best machines ever invented …though, I have no idea how they work.

Once back at my hostel I sat on a small, cushioned stool with the sign 'travel desk' in front of me. I booked my train ticket to Nanning, which cost 240,000 more Dong than the lady at the train station said it would. I thought about going to the train station, to get my own ticket, but it was a 120,000 taxi ride there and back and so, for £4, I decided it wasn't worth the hassle. I booked an extra night here to take me up to my departure date. It's quite funny that I've spent over a week in a city that I don't like. This has happened all over South East Asia with me spending a lot of time in Phnom Penh, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.

Finally I pre-booked accommodation in Nanning. Even though there doesn't seem to be a lot to do there I decided to go for three night as this would, hopefully, allow me to get used to the new country that I found myself in. I then surfed the web, played a bit of 'solo pool' until I got bored. Due to another traveler putting on some rubbish film I headed out into the chaos that is Hanoi. I had no particular reason to do so other than I was bored. My short walk lead me around the local lake; roads had been closed and thousands of people were looking at the water. As I'm quite nosy I followed the crowds to find six boats rowing on the water. I couldn't tell what was going on and so, as it looked rather dull, I left and entered a supermarket close by. I decided to purchase some snacks for my train ride in two days time. These consisted of a rather large packet of chocolate biscuits and a few sweets.

After all this excitement I returned to my hostel to watch a little TV, have tea and eventually sleep. The only job for tomorrow is to try to change some Dong into Chinese money. Apart from that I may take a little stroll around the shops, that's if my cold has gone by tomorrow.

Toodle Pip!

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