23rd - 26th July 2009
We weren't sure what to expect of Hanoi as we'd heard mixed reports on it. On our first night there we went to a water puppetry show where Sammy fell asleep. The show was good to see but admittedly we were all looking at the brochure counting down the segments until it would be over. When we were waiting out the front to walk home Sammy felt someone pushing him onto the road. It turned out to be a very rude man sitting on the sidewalk who wanted Sammy to move. He didn't have anywhere to move to as the road was busy with cars and bikes travelling down it and the sidewalk was covered with either people sitting down, sellers or parked scooters. It was really frustrating. Even when we were walking back we couldn't walk down the footpath and Sammy was nearly wiped out by an obnoxious scooter rider.
The next day we got up early and headed out on a tour to Halong Bay. We did a lot of waiting around (as usual on tours) before we got on the boat but found it funny when our guide said 'Wait here follow me' in the one sentence. Talk about broken English. On the boat we went to a cave and went swimming with the jellyfish. We would jump off the top deck of the boat into the water. Sammy got stung by a jellyfish but he was okay. We were spending the night on the boat so instead of the usual pay as you go they tally up what you drink in a notepad and you pay at the end. We don't really like this system as it's too easy to lose count of what you've actually drunk and get ripped off. One lady on the boat got really upset and actually tried throwing the lady who worked on the boat overboard -Twice. We also later saw her try and choke her boyfriend and also throw his watch overboard so it was an eventful evening.
We got off the boat the following day and it took us 5 hours in a hot bus with not enough seats to return to Hanoi. We were an hour and a half late back and everyone was extremely frustrated as a lot of people had other buses or flights to catch. Sammy and I decided we won't be doing another tour for a while.
It was our last night in Vietnam and the end to our trip travelling with everyone so we had a lovely Indian dinner and a few drinks out in Hanoi town.
We had a great time travelling as a group. We were so lucky to meet such great people in Matt and Sian and spend the last 2 months travelling with them. They'll be our friends and travelling buddies for life so cheers guys, we'll miss you. Kahls, Bri and Kate, thanks so much you guys for coming over and spending the last weeks of our trip through Asia with us. It was so great having you all along and has made for some really special memories that we'll cherish forever. We'll miss you all on our trip but can't wait to see you when we get back to Oz in Jan. Love you guys xoxo