Hanoi and Ha Long BayFebruary 21 in Vietnam
We flew to Hanoi, Vietnam from Vientiane, Laos where we met Eadaoin who had travelled from Bristol to travel with us for the next few weeks. It was very exciting to meet up with her and become a traveling group of four.
On the first day in Hanoi we decided to do the Hanoi Backstreet Tour. We were picked up from our hostel by motorbikes and experienced the mad motorcycle traffic of Hanoi where there is pretty much no driving laws. We got to drive down through the narrow back alleys of Hanoi, visit black markets, see floating homes and taste some of Vietnam's traditional food and drink. This tour was an amazing way to see and taste the best of the city.
Next we did the Castaway two night tour of Ha Long Bay organised by the hostel. We were picked up at 6am from our hostel and arrived at an island on Ha Long Bay at 12:30 just in time for lunch. It was the first time that we ate western food since starting our trip so the food tasted great. The accommodation was a dorm on the beach front on this private island, it was very pretty with the beautiful scenery. In the afternoon we got to do tubing which is where the four of us lay on a tube and then pulled by a speed boat around on the water. We laughed the whole time as we tried and failed to stay on the tube. It was brilliant fun. That evening when it got dark we got to see the pretty view of the fluorescent plankton, which glow in the dark at night, in the water.
The following day we got a boat to a different part of Ha Long Bay where we went kayaking through archs and in through caves of the limestone formed islands. It certainly was the best way to explore this attraction and I understood why it is one of the Seven wonders of the world. Unfortunately there is a lot of plastic pollution in areas of Ha Long Bay which is taking away from it's attractiveness. After lunch on the boat we stopped again for some swimming before heading back to the island for a final night there.
The next day back in Hanoi we went to the Hoa Lo prison museum. This museum held Vietnamese rebels during the French’s reign of Vietnam in the and then later American soldiers during the Vietnam War. It was quite grim to see the horrendous conditions the prisoners had to live in but it was still very interesting to learn more about those periods of time in history.Read more