Our time in Hanoi was short lived but wonderful. I have never seen so many mopeds or bikes in my entire life – it’s absolute chaos, but amazing everyone manoeuvres around one another smoothly, and you actually feel safe after the first five minutes of horror.
We stayed in the Old Quarter of the city, arrived night and left the next morning. We didn’t see very much, but we expected that. Instead we went to the famous ‘Le Pub’ – also in the old market – to watch the Wimbledon Women’s Final. Instantly we got chatting to a Dutch father/ son duo, who turned out to be travelling in Vietnam as a graduation present for Wilelm Jr. Shamefully, we had to talk only in English as we as Britains are pretty lazy when it comes to learning foreign languages, but the conversation flowed and we had a wonderful night. They were absolutely fantastic company, and it’d be a pleasure to meet them again one day.
In the early afternoon of our second day we first stopped at a shop and ate noodles in the street in the baking heat, then took a taxi to the bus station to discover the last bus to Halong Bay had already left (of course it had). We then took another taxi to the train station where we got ourselves two tickets for 75000 Dong each (£2.50) and arrived in Haiphong last night just in time to see the sun setting. The train was very slow, but it was air conditioned and with my trusty blanket it was somewhat comfortable. Across from us was a family of four who we eventually learned were travelling home to Kat Ba Island. They encouraged us to buy the local food on the train that turned out to be a savoury jelly filled with meat, we tried it but gave it over to mum to finish.