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Published: November 20th 2008
Ho Chi Minhs Masoleum
OH MY GOD!! Sleeper bus to Hanoi was rubbish compaired to the other journey. We were subjected to 'Celebrity Dancers' (Vietnamese strictly come dancing) and the bus was rickety and the toilet didnt work. Doesnt dound so bad u say, try it for 12 hours and u will see!! Hotel in Hanoi was amazing, they were so lovely. And we arrived at breakie so instantly met loads of people which was cool. Were told where to go in the eve. Had a stroll round Hanoi and went to the markets and shops. I realise I say this every blog but we dont tend to buy much honestly!! Met up with people from our hotel in the eve and had a very ramdon, very good night. Thursday we went to Ho Chi Minhs Masoleum... very weird experience! We had to stand in silence in single file, had to cover up our shoulders which we werent prepared for so were given lovely shirts to wear, and werent allowed to take cameras or bags in. We were then paraded around the embalmed body of the heavily guarded Ho Chi Minh for less than 1 minute before leaving!!
Friday morning we were up early
to go to Halong Bay. More bus action but it was ok. And so worth it! We were a little worried we'd have a shit boat because a lot of people had been ripped off but it was lovely. Sat down to an amazing buffet style lunch of fresh seafood, meats and fruit and sailed out of the harbour. We sailed for a few hours and pulled up at 'surprising cave'. It was called that as the rock formations looked like animals (yeah right). It looked like rocks. Was very pretty though. We then got the kayaks out and had a row around the bay and a swim. We anchored for the evening and watched the sunset before another amazing meal. The bay was simply beautiful, just look at the photos. Met a few nice people on the boat ad a few token weirdos!!
Saturday was spent lapping up the sunshine on deck before lunch and bus back to Hanoi.
In the evening we went to a charity fundraiser for street children as we met the organiser on thurs. It was a really good event actually with live music and other shows and they raised alot of money.
View over lake
chilled in Hanoi and bought some (very heavy) souvenirs and enjoyed the views over the lake from a roof top coffee shop, drinking egg coffee. Sounds rank but its delicious, the coffee here is fantastic and they do all sorts with it but black and strong works just fine!!!
The staff at our hotel arranged a flight to Vientiane, Laos visas, Halong trip and taxi to airport - very handy! So we finally left Vietnam Sunday.
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