Aishling Caulfield

Joined October 2019
  • Day4

    Overnight train / sapa

    October 4 in Vietnam ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

    The overnight train was an ... interesting experience .... it was A Vietnamese granny , grandpa , 3 year old grandchild , Aishling and myself all crammed into a tiny room meant for max 4 people . We started our journey winding through the streets of Hanoi , squeezing past cars and even shops and restaurants.
    It was so bumpy I was worried Aishling would fly off the top bunk and join me on the bottom bunk at some points !!. We managed a bit of sleep though and woke up about 4 am ready to get off the train at 5.
    Instead of taking the comfortable , air conditioned but way overpriced tourist buses we decided to take the local bus to Sapa . This involved a little old lady selling some sort of food - in the two hour journey we still didn’t work out what she was selling - someone getting sick , and a man holding a tiny kitten inside a water bottle !! - again no idea why .
    When we arrived in Sapa we headed straight to the hostel got into bed and had an actual proper sleep !!
    When we woke up we took a stroll around the town , it’s a completely different pace to Hanoi it felt almost like being in a different country .
    We went for dinner in this amazing restaurant that sat high up on a balcony looking down over the rice paddies , I think the food could have been horrible but we still would have enjoyed it because of the view !!
    Then it was back to the hostel for a movie night and an early sleep
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  • Day3

    Halong bay day 2

    October 3 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    After an early 6 am start we had breakfast while cruising through the bay . We then got on the tender and headed out to a small floating fishing village , from there we we travelled by local bamboo boats through the bay into a cave where we all had to duck and swerve the stalagmites .
    When we got back to the boat it was time for a cooking lesson in fresh spring rolls . The chef told us that in Vietnam the women can only get married if they can make a good spring roll , so the pressure was on . I think we did quite well but no offers of marriage yet .
    We then headed back to port for the journey back to Hanoi. After 2 bumpy hours we were back but the travel day wasn’t over yet . We collected our bags had dinner and it was off to the train station for the overnight train ....
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  • Day2

    Ha long bay !

    October 2 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    We received an email to say the cruise we had initially booked had been cancelled due to engine problems so we were being upgraded to their 5 star sister cruise !! This also meant a shorter transfer 2 hours on brand new road rather thn 4 and a half on bumpy roads and a later wake up call .
    After sleeping the whole way to the bay we got on a small tender before being transferred to our big cruise ship . As soon as we got to the boat we had a welcome drink and safety briefing where we met a couple from Carlow who we then stuck with for the rest of our trip and even had the room beside us .We couldn’t believe it when we go into our room and saw the balcony and jacuzzi tub in the bathroom !! After having lunch in the dinning room we went kayaking in a secluded part of the bay , it was so quiet when we went around one of the small islands it was only me and Aishling , we kayaked right up beside one of the island where there was hundreds of bright purple crabs crawling around , so many it looked like the whole island was moving !!
    We then attempted to get back to the tender, turns out neither of us can steer very well .
    Then we headed to another quiet spot to go swimming the water was so clean and clear compared to the part of ha long bay I was in before .
    We then went back to the boat for a shower and go ready for dinner . I don’t remember how many courses we were fed but it was a lot !!
    After dinner we decided to really milk the fact we were on such a fancy cruise and brought our cocktails back to our room and got in the jacuzzi !!
    Once we got into bed we both fell straight asleep knowing it was an early start the next day

    **More photos to follow from my camera **
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  • Day1

    Day 2

    October 1 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    After a well needed lie in we grabbed some breakfast in the hostel and headed out for the day. We walked through the madness that is Hanoi old quarter and managed to avoid being hit by any Bikes - I’m convinced Aishling will walk into a bike rather than being hit by one cause she gets so distracted by everything that is going on . We then went to ha lao prison . A prison that was originally used by the french when they occupied Vietnam to hold and torture Vietnamese political prisoners. During the American war it was then used to hold American soldiers.
    After the prison we headed to Hoan Kiem lake to the note coffee shop , a cafe where with your drink your given a post it to write a message and stick somewhere in the cafe after years it’s now covered floor to ceiling with different colourful post its.
    We then headed back to the hostel to catch the rugby.
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  • Day0

    We have arrived !

    September 30 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    After a very sleepless night we got our rucksacks and headed to Gatwick . The journey actually flew apart from a bit of a sleepy grump lay over in Dubai that involved sleeping on the floor and not much else. We arrived in Hanoi luckily with no visa problems and headed straight to the hostel .
    The hostel has comfy beds , free drinking water , good WiFi and £2 drinks so we’re both very happy.
    The jet lag started to hit us so we just went for a bit of a stroll around the city while Aishling practised crossing the roads and dodging mopeds . We ended up meeting a group of Irish in the hostel bar and a group of us all went to a little nightclub about a 3 minute walk from the hostel then it was back to bed for a well needed sleep .
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