Hanoi and Ha Long Bay

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Around noon we reached Ha Long Bay, our entry point into Vietnam. The bay features some 2000 of limestone karst islets and islands in all shapes and sizes, which makes for stunning scenery. In 1994 the bay was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. While sailing into the bay and taking in the spectacular seascape, we enjoyed a bbq on the pool deck of The World.

Ha Long Bay.

Once docked and cleared by the Vietnamese authorities, we took a shuttle into Ha Long City for an evening stroll through the markets and along the riverbank. For us this also meant the last (new) country on our world trip.

Ha Long City riverside.
Garbage collection.
Picking up his wife after a day at the markets.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

That morning, loaded with our overnight bags, we boarded the transfer bus to Hanoi, where we arrived around noon.
After checking into the Sofitel Legend Hanoi, a beautiful French colonial hotel, we went walking around town. We liked Hanoi. It is full of old French colonial style buildings, some in better nick than others. Combine that with new construction and lots of motorbikes and you get an interesting mix. Dinner was at the Wild Lotus restaurant, after which we went for a night walk and a drink.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

We went for a morning walk in the area around the hotel and found a Starbucks for coffee and breakfast. Around noon we checked out of our hotel and went to the pick up point for the transfer bus back to Halong Bay and The World.

All in all a very good idea to spend the night in Hanoi, as opposed to just a day; it gave us a bit more time to get the flavor of the city.