Hanoi was probably the most chilled out of our destinations in terms of the things we did but it was by far the hottest. We only stayed a few days here but they were definitely worth it.

The first day we wandered around a beautiful lake and sat down inside several cafés just to cool down a little. One of these was The Note Café, a very colourful shop with walls covered in post-it notes written by all kinds of people from all over the world. We of course left our own with our instagram handles because we thought it would be cool if anyone ever found them. In fact, one person did find Jamie’s and messaged him a couple of months later!

After having a drink, we headed round the lake and came across a bridge crossing. However, you had to pay to cross it and we didn’t feel like it was worth it as we could see the bridge from round the corner.

Other than this, we didn’t really do much in Hanoi – although we did buy notebooks for all our ideas which I personally loved – until we went to Ha Long Bay on our last day there.

Ha Long Bay was absolutely stunning. We were taken into one of the caves in the bay and after exploring and allegedly being granted good luck by touching a stone which kind of resembled a woman’s breast, we went further into the bay. Here we were given the option of kayaking around the caves or being taken in a boat. Of course we went for kayaking! I had never been in a kayak before so this was one of my favourite parts of the trip as Jamie taught me how to paddle. I wasn’t a pro but we didn’t drown so I’m proud.

I feel I should also mention ‘Fighting Cock Island’ which is a popular tourist attraction apparently.

On the way back to the docks we were given some cold seafood and drinks as refreshments. I loved prawns so was really excited to try some fresh ones. What I didn’t realise is you have to take the shell off yourself unlike at home and so I sort of choked on the prawn cutting my throat – in front of several people. I then started panicking that I might have food poisoning but I later found out that the shells of crustaceans are actually nutritionally beneficial!

I didn’t get food poisoning the whole trip despite being convinced I would as I am always prone to it. Unfortunately for Jamie, after a burrito in a really cute restaurant, he was extremely ill. The worst part of this was the fact that we were catching two flights the next day. He was adamant that we weren’t rescheduling though and so in the morning we headed off to the airport for Chiang Mai.

The extent of Jamie’s food poisoning probably hasn’t been highlighted in this post, mainly because I feel it’s better suited to the next post about Chiang Mai and the trip there.

Laura x

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