Hanoi and Halong Bay

Following a few days exploring Bangkok, my travelling companions and I set off for Vietnam. Out first point of call was Hanoi. It was much colder than expected, and the French influence came as a surprise. We stayed in the Old Quarter, a perfect location to observe the flashes of colour, inhale the toxic fumes of the thousands of motorbikes, and slurp on Pork Pho seated on plastic stools.

After three days of exploration, we ventured further north. A bus ride took us to Halong Bay, to start a tour with Vega Travel. Halong Bay was spectacular. The grey stone casts beamed out of the calm waters like trophies on a mantelpiece. We did a 2-day tour with Vega Travel that was marvellous.

Below are my photos of Hanoi and Halong Bay. Enjoy!

Street lights
Street lights
Markets
Markets
Motorbikes, motorbikes and more motorbikes
Motorbikes, motorbikes and more motorbikes
Our first tourist scam. A seemingly lovely Vietnamese lady approached me, placing her hat on my head and her basket in my hands and taking photos. It was all fun and games until she demanded me to buy every single one of her doughnuts.
Our first tourist scam. A seemingly lovely Vietnamese lady approached me, placing her hat on my head and her basket in my hands and taking photos. It was all fun and games until she demanded me to buy every single one of her doughnuts.
Street scene
Street scene
Entrance to the Old Quarter
Entrance to the Old Quarter
Tet
Tet
Incense
Incense
Incense
Incense
Incense
Incense
Temple roofing
Temple roofing
Hanoi street life
Hanoi street life
Flower bike
Flower bike
Traffic
Traffic
Manicure
Manicure
Biker
Biker
Street like
Street like
Street life in black and white
Street life in black and white
How he can balance carrying these huge containers I will never know.
How he can balance carrying these huge containers I will never know.
Selling crockery on a bike
Selling crockery on a bike
Peace
Peace
Thongs, anyone?
Thongs, anyone?
The Cathedral
The Cathedral
The Catholic man who bolted us into the Cathedral, allowed us to ring the bells of Hanoi and then demanded money.
The Catholic man who bolted us into the Cathedral, allowed us to ring the bells of Hanoi and then demanded money.
Tiles
Tiles
Intersection
Intersection
Looking
Looking
Street
Street
Cross with care
Cross with care
Street life
Street life
Crockery lady again
Crockery lady again
Crockery lady again again
Crockery lady again again
Markets
Markets
Emily enjoying New Day noodles
Emily enjoying New Day noodles
Colourful madness
Colourful madness
Water puppets
Water puppets
Water puppets
Water puppets
Halong Bay
Halong Bay
Stone casts
Stone casts
Calm waters
Calm waters
My room with a view
My room with a view

IMG_3675 IMG_3678 IMG_3712 IMG_3723

Sunset
Sunset

IMG_3761

We were invited downstairs to drink with the captain (the man in the white shirt). We had to 'cheers' him, and then finish our glass of rice wine before we could shake his hand. The rice wine was served out of a 8L recycled bottle and tasted worse than sipping on Vodka. Finally, I finished and could shake his hand. It was wonderful to see the crew eating and drinking together. I felt really accepted crouching on the ground, my knees at my chin. The language barrier permitted us from any real communication, but it allowed me to watch, which is almost better.
We were invited downstairs to drink with the captain (the man in the white shirt). We had to ‘cheers’ him, and then finish our glass of rice wine before we could shake his hand. The rice wine was served out of a 8L recycled bottle and tasted worse than sipping on Vodka. Finally, I finished and could shake his hand. It was wonderful to see the crew eating and drinking together. I felt really accepted crouching on the ground, my knees at my chin. The language barrier permitted us from any real communication, but it allowed me to watch, which is almost better.
The crew's dinner
The crew’s dinner
Leftovers
Leftovers
Halong Bay at night
Halong Bay at night
Vega Adventures' junk boat and the moon
Vega Adventures’ junk boat and the moon
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise

IMG_3839 IMG_3842 IMG_3858

My room with a view
My room with a view
My wonderful friends
My wonderful friends
Inside looking out
Inside looking out
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