Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 9 9/8/09

We woke at 4am and dozed till 7am then planned our day of shopping in Hanoi. Determined not to continue over budget, I took out $60-80USD and another $100USD just to be safe. I came home with $12USD.

We meandered at leisure through the heated chaotic streets using the road along with all the vehicles as the pavements were stacked with parked scooters blocking our path. Prices here in the air conditioned shops are mostly fixed but some determined bartering won a few times.

We used the central lake located about 100m from our hotel as the centre point and fanned backwards and forwards from it in a bid to ensure we didnt get lost as the streets all looked the same. Ensconsed in the old quarter we found the streets of similar genre and marvelled at their plethora of goods going indoors where air conditioned when the mood struck.

The retail etiquette here was less demanding/irritating with some store owners not even coming near you. The heat seemed to slow them down as well as us. They have a system of discounting heavily for the first sale of the day to bring them good luck. Not sure how many firsts they had as they sure didnt look like virgins to me!

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