Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Vietnam part1: Hanoi, Halong bay

Due to my great planning I found myself in situation where I was stuck in Laos, still wanted to do Vietnam and Cambodia and my flight home was in less than 2 weeks... What should I say? Challenge accepted :) After flying from Laos to Hanoi, we met the crazy Swedes (one day there was 4 of them - ufff) and did a bit of city sightseeing and 3 day trip to the beautiful Halong bay:

Hanoi is a big city with more than 6 million (40 in the swedish books ;)) people living in it, but I really liked it. Especially the old town. It is a maze of small narrow streets full of shops and bikes and street businessmen selling all kind of stuff. Very nice atmosphere.. and a lot of green! (despite the fact that it is just building next to building)

Early morning in Hanoi old town

The traffic in Hanoi is mental! No rules whatsoever, just you and your car/motorbike and its horn and FIGHT! Crossing the street here gives you a proper adrenaline experience...

Apart from the old town, Hanoi has also less busy and crowded parts. Like this one where all the government and presidential buildings are located. Finally got to see some good old communist architecture :)

The guards marching in front of the Ho Chi MInh's mausoleum. We experienced a real grotesque situation here when from one side they were dead serious about not letting us in the area, but it was easily accessible from the other side and we could easily get right to the same point where they didn't allow us before... 

These kind of communist posters are to be found all around the town. Gotta love it.

One day we went to a local amusement park. Us 6 and hundreds of vietnamese kids. For once in my life I felt like a celebrity :)

Crazy swedes on the swinging ship

View over Hanoi (well, not really due to the smog) from the ferris wheel

Apart from Hanoi I managed (with my veery tight schedule) do a 3 day boat trip to Halong bay. And  it was amazing!

Local guy selling goodies from his boat

Sunset in Halong bay. We have spent one night on this kind of ship in the middle of Halong bay...

...and one night on beautiful quiet island. This was the morning view from our bungalow.

Apart from partying on the boat and island we stopped at few nice spots, like this beach for a bit of swimming and chilling, another spot for kayaking...

...and crazy drunk jumping from the boat :)

And we also did some easy rock climbing with following cliff-jump. Almost shat my pants!

So, after beautiful 5 days in Hanoi and Halong bay, sad moment of saying goodbye to Ben, Caroline, Ella and Nevin, I jumped on a plane to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city) to quickly see something from South Vietnam as well and then rush through Cambodia back to Bangkok to catch my flight home..

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