Hey all! I’m currently on the bus to the airport for my flight to Cambodia this evening. I’m writing to tell you about my past two days in Vietnam. Yesterday, as I mentioned in my last post I went to Halong Bay. I did a full day tour that drove us 3.5hours there and back and then showed us around the bay. First up when we got there was a lunch cruise on the bay in which we were fed a bunch of plates to share. The tour was very small (only 10 of us) which was really nice, especially since everyone was so friendly. After eating we went up on the upper deck to really get a good view of the bay and it was absolutely gorgeous! It was foggy pretty much the entire time we were there, but I thought that the mist really added to the views because it wasn’t so thick that you couldn’t see anything.
Our first stop on the cruise was to a bamboo boat tour, in which some locals paddled us around through some caves around the bay. It was pretty cool to get to close to all the different rocks, but the people paddling the boats got pretty tired by the end. It was a bit disappointing to see some trash floating in the water, but our boat drivers actually had nets to pick up the trash with, so that was pretty cool.
After the bamboo boats we got back on the big boat and went to the Thien Cung cave. It was a bit cheesy to me after my two day caving tour, especially since this cave was completely lit up with colored lights, but at the same time it was still a pretty cool cave.
We then got back on the boat, sailed back to the marina and got on the bus back to Hanoi. That evening I went out to dinner with some people from my hostel and had an amazing clay pot chicken meal! It’s really amazing that this whole meal and drink (see below) only cost me about 6 or 7 dollars.
This morning I decided to go explore a part of the city I hadn’t seen and check out Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum. Unfortunately the last tour goes through at 10:30am and I had gotten a bit later of a start then I had wanted to so I wasn’t expecting to be able to go through. Luckily, when I got there the line wasn’t too long and I was able to go in the mausoleum and see Ho Chi Minh himself (he’s embalmed there). It was a bit creepy and definitely made me wonder whether that was something he wanted or whether the country just decided to do it.
At the mausoleum I met these German girls, one of which was with her Vietnamese cousin. I decided to tag along with them and we went to see the Tran Quoc Pagoda and Temple of literature. The pagoda is right next to the biggest lake in Hanoi, which the girls were telling me would take 40mins by motor bike to go around the entire thing. The temple of literature is where a lot of doctoral students go and there are some statues listing their names and what they got their degrees in. After the temple I parted ways with the girls and went back to my hostel. I got my last banh mi in Vietnam, which was amazing, and then was hanging out at the hostel until it was time to leave for the airport.
I’ve really enjoyed my time in Vietnam and can’t believe it’s already over! I will definitely have to come back here in the future. But, on to Cambodia which I’m sure will be full of other amazing things to see and do!