We checked out of the Royal Lotus hotel at 7am ready for what would be a very long day!
We boarded a boat to take us around Halong Bay for 4 hours which included kayaking. We stopped off at a cave on the way and walked through it. It was beautiful.
We then got to the kayak stop and almost got into the kayak when we were told that we couldn't kayak because we only booked the 4 hour trip. This being despite the travel agent telling us we could kayak so we paid the $10 extra each. I was ready to go off on him when we reached the harbour. Another trick by a travel agent!!!
Having calmed down we were quickly escorted to a restaurant for lunch and just when I was about to go off on this guy he vanished. It was almost like he knew!!!
After lunch we got a minibus back to Hanoi, a 4 hour drive away. We got dropped off near the train station and booked some tickets for the sleeper train that night to Da Nang.
There were only 3rd class beds left and we opted for a top bunk thinking this would be the best option, we couldn't have been more wrong.
Imagine a cabin 2x3 meters with 6 beds in. 3 on each wall, like bunk beds. Imagine that in a hot country with 6 people staying in there with very weak air con. Jesus Christ!! We got to the top bunks and there wasn't enough room to sit up. We were going to have to lie down for the next 19 hours!! This gave me major anxiety.
We tried to settle down for the night until we saw some cockroaches and that was it. Mark spent the next 5 hours stood in the corridor refusing to be in the same room as them. After killing a couple of them, I went to sleep. Well for 10 minutes at a time as the train was bouncing around.
Morning eventually arrived at 5am!! When a couple who had slept all night from 9pm started having a really loud conversation. How rude!! Especially considering we had been up most of the night avoiding bugs but only ever whispered to each other.
The other 4 people in our cabin got off a few stops before us and that's when the mice came out to play! At first we freaked out but then they were actually quite cute so we fed them Pringles.
We boarded the train at 7:30pm and got off at 2pm the next day, we stunk and were very tired. The hotel we checked into wasn't the 5 star we had left behind but for £13 a night we couldn't complain so we showered and had a much needed nap.