I am a bit behind chronically our recent trip through North Vietnam and Laos, but I’m also determined to wrap things up! One of the only disappointing parts of the trip is that we had planned to spend three days and two nights on Halong Bay, and because of a typhoon, we only got to spend two days and one night. The scenery was awe-inspiring, the boat was very nice (Glory Cruise), the food was great, and chilling beneath the stars on the bay was wonderfully relaxing. Had we to do it over again, we might just leave more time on either end of our proposed Halong Bay trip so we could readjust in case of a storm. More time kayaking in the fishing villages, swimming in the bay, playing frisbee, and gawking at the karst limestone formations wouldn’t hurt us, you know?
When it came to Hanoi, we rounded out our time there with trips to Cong Caphe to buy authentic Vietnamese coffee (which I have since drip-brewed back in China with some success!), propaganda posters, dvds, and grab some of the great international cuisine (for Vietnamese- great value, variety- Garden Restaurant, for Italian- Mediterraneo, and for Spanish- right next door, La Salsa). Overall, Evan and I feel we have much to head back to both Hanoi and Halong Bay for in the future, but it won’t be the same without our fabulous friends along!