As Mona woke surprisingly early we headed out for a morning walk to catch breakfast our last morning in Saigon. We found the cafe that Mona had read about, or as it turned out, the lady selling cheap coffee from a wagon, but after seeing the Saigon River we ended up circling back to our hotel in order to secure some breakfast (yoghurts are hard to come by). Then we packed and checked out – this time leaving nothing behind.
We had a smooth taxi ride to the airport but a little longer security, guess who were informed that of course I should remove camera lenses from my bag when the sign states laptops? That I had walked through four domestic security controls previously with the lenses until now was not appreciated as a response. A change from our previous flights was that they used a Boeing 777 instead of the smaller propeller planes we used earlier. After two hours of playing Civilization on the iPad we landed in a 16 degree warm Hanoi which felt rather cold.
The taxi driver tried to rip us off a bit, I showed him the GPS tracked path he’d driven which clearly depicted a detour of six kilometers and paid him what it should have costed instead. He grunted but didn’t try to argue more than that. We dumped our stuff in the very same room we had last time and strolled around in Old Quarters again. For dinner we settled for some BBQ on the street (half the price compared to the place next doors but with limited English skills).
After stopping by our hotel to get some warmer clothes we sat down to enjoy the famously cheap fresh beer in the street corners. As we were drinking and looking at locals I saw that suddenly the peddlers on the opposite street gathered their wares in a very hurried manner and told Mona that something was probably about to happen. Seconds later it became clear what had scared them off, a truck stopped in the middle of the crossing and out jumped a dozen uniformed gentlemen with sour looks. Now everybody seemed to get in a real rush and the patrons started to move and the owner of the establishment started yelling out instructions. I decided this was our cue, told Mona we would leave and walked off in the direction lacking incoming police officers. As I turned around I however saw Mona being very helpful and assisting the owner by re-arranging chairs, I quickly convinced her that perhaps we ought to leave before we were questioned rather than getting involved.
We managed to leave, and most likely the owner just had to cough up some bribes but we headed towards another beer shop rather than returning. Great places these shops, they sell nice beers for around 1 SEK but they do not seem to have bathrooms so we we’re alternating between drinking and using our hotel’s facilities a few times before calling it a day.