It’s my second trip through Vietnam, and in some ways, this one is very different. However, in others, it’s painfully similar.
Hanoi and Halong Bay
The weather is definitely better this time, with a lot less rain and 25-35 degree heat, so we spent a few days roaming around Hanoi and booked a trip to Halong Bay again. Unfortunately, this trip was considerably worse than the last one i took 2 1/2 years ago, and i would highly discourage anyone from using Discovery Travel in Hanoi (ok, that bit’s over!). I won’t lay out all the details, but the problems included a large family of rats living in the walls and ceiling of our room on the boat we stayed on, and they were particularly active that night which meant a lot of squeaking and squeeling (from them and from Emma in return) which meant that neither of us got much sleep! However, we made the best of it and had a great time the following night with everyone from our group.
The highlight so far has definitely been our trip to Sapa. I didn’t make it there last time, so i was pretty anxious to get there this time. Sapa is a small hill station in the very north-west corner of Vietnam, very close to the Chinese border. Throughout this area in Vietnam, China, Loas, Thailand and across to Burma, there are a huge number of ethnic minorities – many of which are hill tribes. Some of the people we saw are not so different from those we saw in Burma or in southern China while i was there (relatively speaking).
You can see some photos from Sapa by clicking the photo above.
Hue and Hoi An
We stopped off at Hue for a couple of days on our way down the coast of Vietnam. We found a rather nice hotel which had just built a swimming pool (i think we were the first guests in it!), so we shacked up there for a pricey £1.75 per night each! Understandably, we were inclined to stay a little longer than we otherwise would have, however we made it out eventually and last night we arrived at the little town of Hoi An. This will probably be the highlight of the trip for Emma as the streets of Hoi An are lined with over 400 tailors shops which can whip up a custom made suit for around £20 in 24-48 hours. That doesn’t even include the countless other shoe shops and handbag shops – definitely enough to keep a girl busy for a few days.