Welcome to our first blog of many I'm sure! We are currently in Hanoi...
Will recap a few days, even though it's only been 4 days feels like so much has happened. After a long 11 hour flight we arrive in Bangkok we didn't really do much there as we were so tired from the flight, the hotel we stayed in was lovely and we had our first bit of thai food, got an early night as the next day we had another flight to Hanoi, Vietnam.
We arrived in Hanoi on saturday, it was a massive culture shock from the start, the roads are mental, we drove through lots of lush farmland and past ruins that were actually houses! So many houses that were under construction simply held up by wooden sticks, that is there form of scaffolding! Madness! Then we arrived in the city, everywhere was swarming with people on moto's everyone constantly beeping. We decided to go to somewhere we knew from the guidebook the ' Hanoi Backpackers Hostel' it was an absolute dive, but kind of cheap.... The room was a dorm and we had to share with two other people. Not fun! Rummaging around in the morning in the dark trying not to wake people up was not fun. The shower and toilet were gross! We met a nice Irish lady called Julie who told us places to go, she was heading to Sa Pa on a night train but it's too far north for us to go. So that night we headed into town and had some food and and a tiger beer for a whopping 75p! We decided to head to Halong Bay the next day and booked a hotel there.
Next day we got a bus at 8:30 am to Halong Bay, it took around 4 hours on this rickety bus to get to the bay with many near death experiences, the drivers like to drive on the wrong side of the road when there is oncoming traffic. We stayed in a nice hotel, bit pricey for our budget at $26. I got to wash and straighten my hair =)There had been a Typhoon the day before so the weather wasn't great. We had a walk around Halong City, which was a bit dead and white people seemed to be a novelty... one person actually took a picture of us lol. After finding Hanoi a bit mental, we were actually missing the hustle and bustle.
Today we headed down to the town to get on a boat trip that took us around the bay, the weather gradually got better, Grant has had like 1 day off sun and already looks foreign! Halong Bay was stunning the limestone islands were incredible, we headed into a cave that was 100 times better than any cave in England. There was a stall seeling fresh fruit, a lady cut open a cocunut with a large machete and we had fresh coconut juice, was yum =). We carried on round the bay to the floating village, where the fisherman live their whole lives on the water(along with their pets) Yes there were dogs and cats there, that had probably never stepped foot on land! We stopped off on one of the villages and saw some of the fish/crabs/weird sea cucumber creatures that they catch. Some people bought crab and had it cooked for them on the boat. Then we headed back to the shore and caught a bus back to Hanoi. We met some English girls from York on the Bus, and followed them back to a Hostel called Star Old Quarter Hotel, which I am currently sitting in. It was $10 so like 210,000 dong, it's basic but wayyyy cheaper than some other places. It's crazy working out the currency, because you get out like 1 million dong and it's only like 31 quid so you think you're rich but not really. So anyway we're now going to head into town for some food and go down the river where it's like another world and there's lots of money, there are shops like Gucci!
So anyway love to all....