Tag Archives: Hanoi

The Middle Kingdom…Hanoi to Beijing in two trains

Bleary eyed and confused we were waiting in line, at 3am off our train from Hanoi, to be allowed across the border into China. The young border guards searched our bags and we held our breathe to see if they’d find our guide-book and confiscate it….they don’t like bits about Tibet. But it made it through and we were in…well after the immigration official had a laugh at Ryan’s passport photo and passed it around to all the other officials! We were in….well though we had another 30 hours on the train… but we were in!

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Hanoi…the city where drag artists accidentally set themselves on fire

OK I’ll explain the title…we were walking around the old quarter on a Saturday evening when the police close off some of the roads for stalls and small concerts. A crowd had gathered around one stage, mainly because the drag artist singer was throwing out packets of crisps into the audience. Our heroine, dressed in full traditional costume, decided to up the drama and took up two lit candles and put them in her mouth. Unfortunately this must have been the first attempt at the routine with a fringed headdress because within seconds the whole of her head was ablaze. Luckily the gasps of the crowd altered a colleague who set about hitting the flames out with a towel. As a true professional our singer didn’t drop a note and continued on with the song as though she didn’t just almost lost her eyebrows… if only we had a our camera at the time….

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