Hanoi & Ha Long
26.01.2011 - 30.01.2011 14 °C
Yesterday me and M. came back to Hanoi by bus from Ha Long. The trip to Ha Long, our first real touristy group trip ever was great fun but also really exhausting! We had to get up at seven each day and be really sporty at eight.You can imagine me and M. struggling
with early morning climbing and kayaking!
However, we did met some affable people, an Australian couple from Melbourne (Nicky and
Felix), a hilarious Chinese Indonesian (Limhendro) and two engaging Swiss guys (Patrick and Adrian). On our first boat there were just elderly people, but fortunately the groups were fluctuating constantly so you met people from different companies and hotels.
Marije, me and Hendro formed one group and we were constantly accompanied by 'Strong,' our tour guide who spoke a few memorised English sentences. He would just give very general comments ('The cave is very big', 'You have to be careful with passport') or start summing up the programme again when you asked him something. It turned out we paid twenty USD extra for him and because we booked the Ha Long trip in our 'corrupt' hostel. That said, it was definitely worth it, even though there was no sun, the views were stunning!
And it’s quite an experience to sleep on a ship there in between the sloping hills and waking up with a sunrise on the water. The food was great and so was the hotel for the second night, the night on the boat was pretty bad because it was way too cold and there was just one dirty blanket (without sheet) for everyone. But I guess that's part of the Vietnam tourist experience, just like the presence of our bodyguard Strong! The first day we visited a cave, went to Cat Ba island, climbed a peak, and went kayaking... only the promised Karaoke never happened! Something I at least was secretly looking forward to!
Tomorrow we're hopefully taking a bus to Hoi An to celebrate the Vietnamese New Year there. I say hopefully because Marije was pretty sick last night, I'm fine so it’s probably some meat she ate... you never know. We heard Hoi An would be a good place to be stuck for a few days. We booked the open bus ticket in town this time, twenty USD cheaper than in the hostel! We might seem a bit obsessed with the prices, but trust me, most backpacker are. After all, we're planning to stay away for six months at least!
Next update will be from Hoi An!