Yesterday I decided to go to the centre of Hanoi by bus. The first time to use public transport.
According to Google maps there was a bus stop not so far away from my apartment. There are no bus maps, so preparation is a bit cumbersome. I did find out that one of the three buses passing our neighbourhood would go close to the Hoan Kiem Lake in the centre. So, we gave it a try.
Our bus came after maybe 30 minutes. The ticket information I had from the internet was not so up to date. The price had gone up to 7,000Dong from 3,000 some indefinite time ago.
One thing that surprised me (also later when we took some other bus) was that immediately after entering the bus some young lad or girl would get up and offer me their seat! I have never come across that in Europe! It made me feel a bit weird, however, and I asked myself: “do you really look so old and fragile?”.
So, I learned quickly that one should avail of such offers of respect. I refused the seat – and had to suffer immediately. Standing in a bus in Hanoi means you should hold on to all available handles etc. with both hands – all the time. It appears that the most important part of these buses are the breaks. And they may be used at all moments and will send you flying about if you are not straddled in properly! The next time someone offered e a seat I accepted it gracefully 🙂
We had a nice walk round the lake in the middle of the old quarter and tourist zone.
My got the bus wrong for our return trip – and we ended up near her apartment instead. That was an unexpected but very welcome diversion – as it was close to my favourite duck restaurant and we had some unplanned dinner 🙂