After my amazing motorbike day tour with the friends I had met, what seems like ages ago at this point, it was time to head to Hanoi. We booked an overnight train and lucky for us we got the whole cabin since there was 4 of us. Overnight trains in Vietnam can be hit or miss. You have to hopefully book in time to get the chance to choose a hard bed with 6 bunks or a soft bed with 4. Then if you're by yourself its luck of the draw on who you get bunked with. I won't even mention the bathrooms. We were all fairly exhausted from motorbiking so we each had a beer and did our own thing for the night. Katie and I uploaded and edited some of our photos, Annie read and John annoyed us all. (Not really but we gave him a hard time most of our time together) We got to Hanoi rather late the next day and had dinner. The kids (Annie and Katie) were off to the hostel and mum and dad (me and john) decided to sit in traffic and have a beer. No, literally.
The plastic stool chairs are what we often find at the "kids table" in the states. But, they are EVERYWHERE here. SO when in Hanoi, sit on plastic stools and drink beer. Then go to a rooftop bar and watch 5 lanes of traffic merge and people try to cross the street. We saw a tourist jump in the middle for a selphy, a car quite literally reverse and u-turn and lots of people walking across...which is what we did next.
The next day we were up early to get to Cat Ba Island. Originally I was going to stay on a junk boat in Halong Bay but for nearly a fraction of the cost I could stay at a nearby island and day tour to Halong. Sold.
I can now say I have quite literally taken every mode of transport in Vietnam. This time was bus, to ferry, to bus and boom 4 hours later welcome to Cat Ba.
We immediately did what we do best.. rent motorbikes and explore.
And now for our day trip. We boarded a junk boat and took a relaxing trip to Halong Bay and Monkey Island. We got to kayak, snorkel, jump off the boat (or backflip ;)), make some monkeys angry and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the World Heritage site of Halong Bay. I will never forget these beautiful emerald waters.
And then I found the end of the world. Vietnam was great. On to Laos.