The Motorcycle Chronicles - Ha Long to Hanoi

Trip Start Oct 27, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Hanoi Backpackers Hostel
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Sunday, July 24, 2011

   As in many cases, 'plans never seem to work out'. Originally we aimed to arrive into 'Bai Cháy' to book a tour around Ha Long Bay, only to find out that the tour we want to get on is only available to book 'Hà Nội'. Rather than excepting a less superior tour we decide it is easier to ride to 'Hà Nội' and book the tour and return back to later in the week.

    Whilst in 'Bai Cháy' Shane required a little bit of work on his bike which was still in progress, so we decided to head for breakfast before a the long ride to the capitol. We find a small restaurant offer a local speciality known as 'lẩu gà'. Similar to a Thai Hotpot, this dish is served with soup and a whole raw chicken diced into small section on a camping stove. You then cook each piece in the boiling broth, including breast, thigh, feet and head, with a selection of greens and mushrooms. But this probability isn't the best choice is you are hungry as it does take a while to cook.

    Eventually after much hanging around in Bai Cháy' we endure the long ride to 'Hà Nội'. Arriving in the city is an insane experience, although the capitol is smaller than its brother in the south, it is still just as crazy. Thankfully we find some local westerners who guide us to the backpackers district of town, and check in to 'Hanoi Backpackers Hostel'. This large hostel in the centre of 'Hà Nội' old quarter is the lively core of the Hanoi backpackers scene. Offering dorm rooms for 126,000 Dong ($6, £4) a night, with A-C, fast WiFi, and free breakfast every morning. Down stairs has a bar and restaurant serving a good western menu (if slightly overpriced), and on the 5th floor you will find a chilled out cinema an pool room. Almost always filled to the brim every evening, this has a great party vibe and is a great place to meet people starting or finishing their trip in Vietnam.  People who check into Hanoi Backpackers normally book for one night, and end up staying for a week.
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