Halong Bay, Vietnam

3 11 2012

The past few days have been a ton of fun. We just spent three days in Halong Bay, about 4 hours outside of Hanoi, Vietnam. A typhoon had just swept through the area, so we were a little anxious about how that would affect our trip, but everything went quite smooth.

The trip included much chill time, both on the boat and on a private island. Swimming, kayaking and general laziness took up much of my time. It was definitely a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi, where I feared for my life every time I crossed the street. As a wise man told me, just close your eyes and maintain your pace; you’ll be fine.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And so now I am in Luang Prabang, Laos. So far it’s very relaxing. It’s nice to know that the people are not out to screw you over for being a tourist, unlike most of SE Asia. Today I am going to rent a bicycle and go explore a little. Wish me luck!



29 10 2012

Sorry for the delay. Once our bus arrived into HCM, Vietnam we checked in our hostel and quickly went to sleep. I started to feel bad on the bus, thinking I was running a fever, and by the time I woke up in the morning, I was fully sick.

The next two days I laid in our room, which eerily resembled a solitary confinement cell at a prison, battling a fever and diarrhea. Meanwhile, Lauren explored the town, got taken for a ride on a motor-taxi (in more ways than one), and toured the Mekong Delta. The only time I left the room was to grab a bowl of Pho, which was delicious, but unfortunately didn’t save the day and make me feel any better.

On Wednesday evening, I finally broke down and visited a doctor as the OTC medications I was taking just weren’t doing the trick. I got some antibiotics and other meds and went to bed. The next morning, we started packing our bags for the long train ride ahead. That afternoon before we boarded the train, we visited the War Remembrance Museum. It was quite intense, and I don’t remember being shown a lot of that information in school in the States….

The train was 14.5 hours to Da Nang. It wasn’t too bad, but since we were on the top-level we couldn’t sit up, so laying down got old after about 5 hours. From there we jumped onto a yellow local bus for approximately an hour and it dropped us off at the bus station just outside of Hoi An. We spent the rest of the day roaming throughout the town. It’s a beautiful area and was a nice break from the rush that is SE Asia. It is very calm, and at dusk the area lights up with lanterns. It’s quite a sight. Saturday we were off on the train again for a little longer than the day before to get up to Hanoi.

Hoi An Riverfront

Awesome alleyways

Sailor’s Delight

Hoi An Nighttime

Overlooking the river

Evening boat ride

The train to Hanoi was much easier. We rode in a soft-sleeper this time (only 4 people in a room) and had plenty of room to sit up. The majority of the night Lauren and I were the only two in the room, which was nice.

There is a typhoon currently in Halong Bay, so we hung out for a day in Hanoi. Tomorrow we are doing a three-day trip to Halong Bay. I’ll update soon afterwards.