The next stage of the trip was to meet up with Aisling in Vietnam. We flew from Bangkok to Hanoi and we had previously organised a visa via the Visa-on-arrival program. All I can say about the process is make bloody sure you have dollars with you when you arrive in Vietnam and we will be forever grateful to a dutch national, Stefan, who had spare dollars with him….
We spent the day wandering round the centre of Hanoi. Its a crazy, vibrant city with more motorbikes than I’ve ever seen before. It took a bit of getting used to crossing the road – its very simple, you just head into the traffic and stay at a constant pace, the bikes will just avoid you. The only thing you’ve got to watch for is cars and van.
We booked a trip to Halong Bay for the following two days – anyone who had seen the top gear trip to Vietnam will remember the stunning bay of limestone islands.
The original trip we booked was a one night stay on a boat, but for some reason the plans changed and we were eventually offered the alternative of of going to Catba island and staying in a bungalow. If anyone is booking a trip to Halong Bay, take the “bungalow” option – thats what the locals call beach huts.
The trip out the bay was fantastic as was Catba island and the beach huts. its a much better trip than the hotel or even staying on a boat. We spend most of the day chugging along in a flat wooden boat getting to the tiny island with the beach huts. We landed and dumped our gear and headed for a swim.
The Halong bay trip was a real highlight of the holiday.
We met some interesting people, including Elizabeth (travelersdish.wordpress.com) who quit her job to spend time travelling the world
Enjoy the photos