After the very eventful time in Sapa we headed straight to Halong Bay. We bussed it over to Halong City and then got on a 4-hour boat cruise that took in the amazing sites in and around Halong Bay. There are literally thousands of limestone karsts of varying shapes and sizes coming out of the water. The water is very calm and peaceful and we loved the laid-back pace of it all. The boat dropped us off on Cat Ba Island where we found our hotel and were very impressed with the view overlooking yet more limestone karsts.
We had a much needed rest day the following day before cruising around Lin Ha Bay on another day tour. The tour was really nice and we met another couple from England and wound each other up about by talking about Western foods we were both craving! Bizarrely, Richmond sausages seem to be the item we are craving the most. Must be due to the fact we were having them for BBQ 3 times a week before we left England! We got to do an hour’s kayaking as part of the tour. Kayaking seems to me to be a sure fire recipe for divorce as it always seems to end in arguments and disagreements. We spent the hour trying to get our kayak to go in a straight line with me paddling hard while Hannah sat in the front and took photos!
Vietnam has some absolutely amazing natural places and the area around Halong Bay is definitely one of our favourite places in the whole country.
After two nights on Cat Ba Island we headed back across to the mainland and then back to Hanoi. When we arrived back in our guesthouse they’d given our room to others but arranged us to stay at a hotel across the street. I bit my tongue as we were knackered and just wanted a nice room. Luckily the hotel they moved us to would have cost us double the price and was easily doubly as nice!
We flew out of Vietnam the following day heading into Laos. Vietnam has been a very interesting experience. It has some amazing places like Sapa, Halong Bay and Hoi An. Most of the country is a frenzy of activity with the motorbike ruling the roads and the pavements. With the exception of a few people, the majority of Vietnamese people seem less than pleased to have tourists in their country and there is a lot of aggression when haggling for prices. This makes it a little less appealing than some of the other places we have been but we’ve still loved the time we’ve spent here.