Hanoi & an overnight train to Sapa

Trip Start Jan 05, 2010
Trip End Jan 25, 2010

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Where I stayed
Livitrain berth 21 and 23

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Sunday, January 10, 2010

We woke early (we just can't seem to sleep in) and spent some time catching up on emails and sorting out washing (the sorting didn't go so well coz Mike ran out of clean undies!! This didn't bother him, of course, as they can always be turned inside out). We trundled down to breakfast at 10am and again had the restaurant to ourselves which is hard to believe in such a crowded city.

We headed off to the old quarter and picked up 2 t-shirts, which Mike managed to barter down to $2 each (it was cheaper to buy new shirts than pay for washing!). We also bought 2 drawings from a local artist called Trantuan, who our Halong guide recommended. We hit the galleries and returned to the hotel to pack and check out.

We kicked off the afternoon at the Temple of Literature where Mike's Uncle Ho T-shirt was a hit with locals; they were lining up for photos with him! We then walked up to the Ho Chi Minh Museum and after a couple of hours of sight seeing decided a sundowner was in order.

After consulting a guide booked we made our way to the top floor of the very Chi Chi Sofitel for a Singapore Sling and the best view in Hanoi. We had a quick dinner at Indochine, which is a  famous restaurant in Hanoi, then made our way to the station for an overnight trip to Sapa.

The train was quite an adventure after the very luxurious Junk cruise and Maison d'Hanoi. The ticket seller was perched in the middle of a run down courtyard and we approached the train thinking we maybe on the way to Aushwitz instead of Sapa. The cabin was better than expected and we shared the 9 hour trip with a young American couple from California and a bottle of red.

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