After leaving Singapore (with a final jungle walk before we left, it was HOT so these boys were showing us the appropriate way to show ones navel in Singapore) we flew to Hanoi.
Our first night was spent wandering around the old quarter looking for noodles. The next morning we set off exploring and I must say I enjoy Vietnam much more than I thought I would. I naively had an impression of Vietnam as a cold and unwelcoming country and have had that impression blown out of the water. The people are friendly and quick to smile and very generous. While drinking bia ha (cheap cheap good beer for less than $1) we noticed our neighbours eating delectable spring rolls. We wanted to ask where we could get some but they didn’t understand so instead handed over three juicy ones for us to try – with a bowl of sauce to boot!
We spent three days in Hanoi navigating the crazy motorcycle clogged streets. Crossing here is really an art, instead of running across when you see a gap in traffic you walk slowly and carefully making sure to look the drivers in the eye to make sure they see you.
Our second night here we made our way to the water puppet theatre, amazing music and an absolutely mesmerizing puppet show.
A Hanoi wedding
Our third day touring around we ended up in the French quarter and felt like we had left Vietnam and entered Europe. We stopped at Paris Gateaux and ate cheap cake and drank lattes. Marc and Josh were joined by Aaron and Ty through the wonders of technology.
Located in the centre of Hanoi is Lake Hanonkiem that is frequented by locals and tourists alike. All hours of the day it is bustling with people exercising as well as looking for giant turtles that supposedly inhabit it and pop up every year or so.
In Hanoi we booked a two day boat tour to Halong Bay. The Bay is full of karsts (rock formations jutting out of the water, formed by years of erosion) everywhere you look. We had quite the variety of experiences on this trip. We took a traditional junk (outfitted with air conditioning and a WC like I’m sure all junks used to have) to explore the bay, took a kayak out to go into some caves (for the record, I enjoy caves much more on a boat than I do on foot) and spent the night in a bamboo hut on a beach.
Relaxing on the beachJosh heads off tomorrow and we will be sad to see him go! Thanks for all the fun times Josh and you are back on our blog roll just like you asked!!