We are currently in Hanoi, our last stop in Vietnam and on this trip! I would really like to take the whole group the rest of the way with us! They have been awesome company and will be very much missed.
Halong bay was beautiful and almost everything I expected. Sadly the weather has not been that great for the past few days, but I am back in my shorts now so it is definitely picking up! The bay was a bit cloudy and would I'm sure be 10 times more stunning on a bright, sunny day but was still incredible. Thousands of tiny islands pop up out of the water everywhere and look extremely surreal. There is a Vietnamese myth that the islands were carved out by a dragon flying over the land, and we spent some of the boat trip trying to work out which parts of the dragon made the different shapes!
We travelled around the islands on a junk boat, having a brilliant seafood lunch on-board then visiting a cave with lots of limestone stalactites and stalagmites all lit up in different colours. Hopefully the pictures will come out well when I get around to uploading them J
So far we have been in Hanoi for one night. It is a very lively city and the roads are a nightmare to cross, with taxis, motorbikes and scooters coming at the pedestrians from every direction imaginable! Fortunately part of the driving test must have been the motorbike equivalent of dodgeball, as the 'system' seems to work the majority of the times I have seen. We spent yesterday exploring the market streets which sell everything you could possibly imagine. In the evening we went to a few bars for a bit of a goodbye drink, as it's many of our last nights today and the rest of the group have to get up very early to carry on tomorrow.
Tomorrow evening we will be heading to Laos on a bus which will take us over the border and into Vientiene. Should be interesting since we've never done an overland border crossing on our own! The bus is a long old haul, not much under 24 hours in total so I'm led to believe. But apparently there are some amazing views when it's light and travelling does involve some serious travelling!
Today will probably be pretty laid back, it's my turn for my own room so am making the most of it because 10-bed dorms await in a couple of weeks when we hit Australia! I'm sure they will be fun though, just looking forward to whatever the trip decides to throw at us at the moment J