Hanoi - Mopeds, mopeds, mopeds
Trip Start Dec 27, 2008
50Trip End Jun 27, 2009
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Not to be missed while in Hanoi is the water puppetry.
We did have some great experiences with food whilst in Hanoi. We went to a cooking class where we had a personal tutor teach us how to prepare and cook traditional dishes such as spring rolls, chicken and catfish. You can find Pho everywhere in Vietnam and our hotel offered it for breakfast. It's a sort of noodle soup with chicken or beef served with onions and chilli. It's delicious and cheap. With every good meal there are good drinks. One of Hanoi's most famous institutions is Bia Hoi. For as little as 3000D (13p) you can sample the world's cheapest beer. In fact it's pretty good. Luckily, street corners are filled with backpackers downing glass after glass as the beer is brewed without preservatives and goes off quickly. Charlotte and I sampled a couple of glasses each and were pleasently surprised (way nicer than Zulu beer). Anyway, who cares? it's 13p!
Two of our days in the Hanoi area were spent at Halong Bay, about three hours drive away. We booked onto a boat for $80 each overnight and had a great double room with a bathroom better than anywhere i've stayed. The site is entered to become one of the new natural wonders of the world and after visiting, it's hard to imagine it not winning. 3000 islands rise out of the east china sea and hundreds of boats sail between the beautiful rocks everyday.
Despite the number of fellow travellers its tranquility is its main attraction, we weren't bothered at all. As night fell we squid fished but I only managed to catch a coat hanger. We stepped off the boat onto sandy beaches and deep caves, the natural beauty of the place is incredible, although it risks going to ruin if proper restrictions aren't put into place to stop people writing on the rocks and chipping away souvenirs. The best way to see the beauty and chill in the stillness of the islands is definately by kayaking through the caverns into the huge open waters. Halong Bay is bliss.
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