To get to Hanoi there was an option of a 24hr bus tide, 12hr train ride or a 1hr flight for only £5's extra. So luckily this journey was pure luxury compared to what we've become used too and to top things off we were given the seats with extra leg room!
Arriving in Hanoi the first thing we realised was it was cold, people at home will probably think we're silly for moaning that it was 15 degrees but when you've become used to 30 plus it feels cold. There was also a problem because during the rest of the trip everything time I bought something new I had to leave something old behind, which was usually a piece of warm clothing. The result was that I had two pair of leggings and one thin hoody to last me the whole time we were on the North.
Since it was Christmas we'd decided to splash out and get a nice hotel, it was great; a massive, comfy bed and the biggest power shower I've ever seen. On our first day in Hanoi I'd booked to go and have another tattoo, after lots of Internet research I found a place with lots of good reviews, so along I went. My new tattoo is a sunflower at the top of my leg, the place was clean and they give you the needles afterwards to show they always use new ones. I haven't kept them as I couldn't really understand what to would do with them!
My first impressions of the city weren't great, the streets in the old district are tiny but they have the same amount of scooters as in Ho Chi Minh, so it's just bedlam and you're constantly getting run into by people on a scooter. I also found the people weren't as friendly as in the rest of Vietnam and can I remind you, it was cold. However it was two days before Christmas and so we basically did as we would at home, and spent most of our time drinking.
For Christmas Day we managed to find a backpackers bar that was holding a three course Xmas dinner plus all you can drink for £15, so that was the that decision made. The only problem was that it started at 11.30am and I was so hungover from the night before that when the food was served at 12.30 I could barely eat a thing. Ahh well they kept our drinks topped up all day so luckily that feeling didn't last too long. It was a good day with about 100 backpackers from all over, it didn't feel anything like Xmas though more hair like a party with people wearing hats and tinsel. Because of the time difference and the free flowing drink, by the time it was ok the Skype back home we were both pretty drunk. So sorry to both our families if the conversation was a bit slurred. In terms of presents we'd already had xmas day back home and opened all our presents and we'd bought each other something along the way, Scott had some new trainers from me and he had got me a new iPod already filled with music, although I'd sat there an picked ever album. I also had some birthday cards from a few people back home, so thanks for them it gave me something to open and a big smile!
Unfortunately by 10pm on xmas day I was gone and bed was the only option!! We were also up early the next anyway as we were off going visit Ha Long Bay.