Hanoi and Halong Bay

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Where I stayed
Hanoi Youth Hotel
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Thursday, May 19, 2011

After quiet Laos Hanoi is a bit of a shock. It's loud, brash and in your face. Masses of motorbikes cram small streets in the old quarter where we stay. I know Sarah didn't enjoy Hanoi very much. I thought it had a certain charm though, it seemed to bubble with life. We pay a visit to Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum, which is a very surreal experience. He's laid down in a glass box, lit sunset red, with vietnamese flags adorning the wall at the back. Guards that don't flinch (like at Buckingham palace) guard the body. As I said a very surreal experience.

We also have some Bia Ahoi, which is basically very cheap beer (about 20p for a half pint) sold in make shift sitting areas on the corner's of streets. You sit on plastic primary school style seats and eat and drink Bia Ahoi. I had some great meat dumplings there also.

You can run out of superlatives to describe Halong Bay. It's a beautiful place - just see the photos. We have a great group of fun people on our junk boat also. We see 'amazing cave' - which turns out to be - well - amazing, kayak around the karsts, cycle around Cat Ba island and jump off the junk boat and have a swim. We also stay at monkey island but don't see many monkeys - nevermind. 
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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