Our holiday in Hanoi.
We had this golden opportunity to join our daughter and son-in-law on a trip to Hanoi. It was a very enjoyable & memorable journey.
We arrived in Hanoi late in the evening. My son-in-law checked in at the Hilton and we went around Hanoi looking for a place to stay on our own.
The first thing I noticed were the motorbikes. That was obviously the common mode of transport. Crossing the street was rather nerve racking until we soon realised it was safe to do so. Everybody crosses the streets with ease. The motorcyclists seem to understand this need. They give way at the crossing or they go around you.
We crossed the bridge on the lake in the heart of Hanoi. It’s called the Hoan Kiem Lake. The walks around the lake and its picturesque surroundings gave me a sense that it must be either autumn or spring.
We passed plenty of small shops and boutiques and bought some souvenirs from the night market before we settled into a military complex turned into a 3 star hotel.
Hanoi is very beautiful and youthful. We didn’t have much time to explore the city. My daughter arranged our trip to Sapa through a way side Travel Agent, who organised a good itinerary with a guide to take us around at Halong Bay & Sapa.
The hotel we stayed in at Sapa was pretty ordinary and dirty. That was a disappointment. We were not too fussed about it. We just accepted it as normal in this part of Vietnam.
The bay is a very popular tourist destination and so we decided it is a must see place. It was the right decision we made not knowing anything about Vietnam. We enjoyed Halong Bay, which features lots and lots of islets of various sizes and shapes spread over the entire Bay.
We took the overnight train to Sapa, which is located in the remote northwest mountainous regions of Vietnam, bordering China. A very picturesque region adorned with rice terraces and lush vegetation.
There were 8 ethnic minorities living in Sapa I am told. Among them the H’mong group in particular followed us trying to sell their trinkets. Most of these peasants were very friendly and very poor.
Our guide was a very young lad who went out of his way to make our trip a very enjoyable one. He organised a lunch stopover with one of the families in a little hut surrounded by rice fields. The woman prepared the meals in our presence and her husband and brothers-in-law returned from the fields to enjoy that meal with us.
We drank their rice whisky. I think I drank too much as they sort of challenged me to keep up with them. On the way home, I was feeling tipsy but the long walk to the hotel through the rice fields made me sober.
We want to return to Vietnam for a longer stay. There is so much to see and do in this beautiful Country. We are waiting for the golden opportunity to join our daughter and son-in-law in their next expedition to Vietnam.
We now promote holidays to vietnam through Leisure World Tours.
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