We last left off in Hanoi. After spending a few days in the city, we were picked up by our tour guide for our Halong Bay Cruise. If you have been to Phuket, particularly on the James Bond Island tour, Halong Bay will bring back memories. We booked the Signature Junk Boat Cruise. Don’t be fooled by the name, the accommodation was very comfortable.
The next few days consisted of eating, relaxing and going out for short day excursions. We got to visit an oyster fishing village, some caves and even did some night squid fishing but were out of luck there.
The food on the cruise was very average but the service was great and they tried to prepare alternatives for us. If you want a break from the buzzing city for a few days then a visit to Halong Bay will meet this requirement. Personally we felt that we could have skipped this tour and done more of the other parts of Vietnam such as Sapa.
Given our limited time, we were on a tight schedule to get as much of Vietnam’s sights in and were off to Huế (pronounced where). We decided to take the scenic route to get in the sights and opted to take a train to Hue. Lucky our hotel in Hanoi, the La Siesta Trendy offered to give us a room for an hour to freshen up before our night journey.
We were apprehensive about selecting the train over a quick flight however the cabin was neat and we were fortunate that we didn’t have to share it with other passengers. The toilet was however a no- go and we would suggest that you don’t drink too many liquids for this trip. We are not going to lie it was a rough night and were glad to arrive at our hotel.
We chose the Eldora Hotel which was within walking distance of many restaurants and the night life. Our tour of Huế consisted of a cyclo tour (we were a bit lazy) and some walking. We had a spunky tour guide which made the tour even more fun and she was great at explaining the history and letting us know which restaurants and night spots to visit.
Definitely include a tour of the Imperial City as well as Mieu Temple which is a shrine to former emperors.
We expected Huế to be more of a quaint town but were surprised by the night life and the many bars lining the streets with lively patrons both local and foreign.
I have to mention Charmaine’s favourite restaurant in the country, HANH restaurant. If you want authentic unpretentious food then definitely pay this place a visit. Even our local tour guide recommended it.
Stay tuned for the final part of our Vietnam Series. Have a good week!