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Trip Report Halfway Trip Report - Vietnam

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Hi Fodors’ folks,

Just arrived from Sapa on the overnight train this morning and are having the whole daytime back in Hanoi to ourselves before our flight to Hue at 5:30. Surprisingly it becomes pretty cold here now while it was really hot when we arrived a few days ago.

Just want to do a very quick report while the wife is having a shower before we’re out the Silk Street for some shopping.

We touched down the airport in Hanoi in the evening of the 26th Feb. Headed straight to the immigration counter, handed our passport, photos, the pre-approved letter and the required stamping fee. After reading of some delays in having passports stamped at the airport, we were a bit scared but all turned out just great - Pretty fast and no hassle at all. We prepared 2 passport sized photos for each of us but they required one only.

Met by our guide outside the exit terminal who had held a signboard with our names on it and then we were taken to our hotel for check-in.

We stayed at the Mercure La Gare and had an absolute deal with Vietnamstay.com. Initially we were booked a standard room but were later upgraded to a deluxe one. No extra cost was added. In addition, we stayed here for 2 nights but paid for 1.5 only as the hotel has a promotion going on at the moment.

Because it’s a very new hotel in town, everything is sleek, modern and comfortable. Food was good and service staff could not be more friendly and helpful. The bathroom was super clean and with modern facilities. Really loved the glass wall which, however, might not be that good if you’re sharing with someone you’re not intimate with. But I’m with my wife, so it’s very fine :)

The hotel is just opposite to the central railway station and within walking distance to the old quarter, so we walked whenever we were not on tours.

Well, that’s it all for now as the wife is back and we are ready for lunch and then shopping around town.

Will keep you updated soon.

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