Back to the busy city after a few days of quiet

Trip Start Dec 20, 2008
Trip End Sep 12, 2009

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

We have had a busy week exploring parts of Northern Vietnam.

We took a one night boat trip to Halong Bay (about 3 hrs drive from Hanoi) and it was great. We were with a group of 16 other travellers in a beautiful, large, wooden "Junk" boat. The accomodation on the boat, along with the food, was probably the best that we have had in Vietnam. We were able to do some kayaking and swimming through some of the huge limestone towering islands. There are almost 2000 islands in Halong Bay and it is part of the UNESCO Heritage Site.

After Halong Bay, we got on an overnight train up to the mountain region of SaPa. This part of the trip was proably our favorite part of Vietnam. I can't say anything bad about it!

The train was definately an experience. After a few technical difficulties and a few hour delay, we were on our way. We shared our cabin with an older couple from Singapore who treated us like their kids! hahah it was great... super friendly and they shared all their food with us. We arrived at the train station where we got an hour bus ride to the town of SaPa.

From Sapa we joined a group and went trekking through the beautiful rice paddies and hill tribe villages for 3 days. Our guide was a 17yr old local girl named Si who lived in one of the villages that we walked through. She took us to her home and we met her mom and sister. They have a very basic but clean home where 8 of the family members live, along with the pigs, chickens and ducks. Her family had a small area of land where they have their own rice field. They welcomed us into their home so warmly and gave us all some local rice wine.

We stayed at a homestay one night which was great. Stayed with a great family along with our guide. They made us the best food and where so friendly. Will and I played pool with their 10yr old son and got beaten numerous times by the kid. Even with the language barrier, we had a great time losing!

It was so nice to get away from the hussle and bussle of a busy city with all the motor bikes whipping around you. The mountain area and fields where so quiet and peaceful. We didn't want to leave!

We fly from Hanoi to Vientaine, Laos tomorrow. ITs bitter sweet leaving Vietnam, we ahve had such a great time here but our month visa is almost up, plus we are looking forward to travelling in Laos.

Almost a month left of our trip!! can't believe it! Time flys when you are having fun!
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