Hanoi just gets more fun everyday! There is a dramatic change in wealth here from the Vietnam we remember from 16years ago. There are huge shopping malls all around the city of Hanoi and even the smallest of them has some kind of entertainment attached.
Yesterday saw us at Royal City Mega Mall which is quite unbelievable. It was half deserted but brand new and filled with all the same shops as you'd see in Westfield. But what we came for was the Vinpearl indoor water park.... It was awesome for the kids and for us big kids. I tried to surreptitiously take the underwater camera in to take some pics but the amount of water tumbling and splashing down everywhere, every second made photography pretty tricky.
Our highlights were: Otto (who when we first came away didn't like his face getting wet even in the bath) going on his own down two slides and through a waterfall tunnel.
Jess racing me down the big slides and winning thanks to her running bobsleigh-esque launch sequence.
And the kamikaze in the thrill seeker area. You climb into a capsule to the accompaniment of a loud heart beat before a countdown commences and the floor drops away from you plunging you vertically into darkness and spirals. What a rush! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhAmVxvy1Q0.
Hanoi has felt like a holiday from our adventure. We've been taxi-ing everywhere, we've even made it to the cinema, albeit on separate nights , to see Star Wars.
We've been back to tiniworld and the zoo and managed a bit of shopping to boot. Phew. After all that I'm ready for a bit of peace and tranquility. Bangkok?!? We fly tomorrow.
We left Hanoi on 2nd Jan. The city was still recovering from its New Year's Eve party. Purely put on for the tourists and the expats as Vietnam celebrates New Year on the Chinese calendar, the city still went all out for it with stages and huge sound systems all around the lake and the big parks. Jess and Otto lasted till about 10:30 thanks to ice-cream bribes from the lovely Kim from our hotel. We watched the rest of the celebrations from our balcony.
We splashed out (again) on a cruise round Halong Bay. Our first ever cruise and it was pretty good - apart from the regimental timing for everything. Basically we were last to everything. Last to dinner and breakfast. Last to the boat for the cave tour. Last back on the boat after meandering through the cave. Last on the boat to the swimming beach and last back (we were the only ones brave enough to swim though....brrrrr!). safe. to the Kayaking. So last to get in the Kayaks they ran out of paddles for me and Jessy.
However, despite our appalling time keeping we enjoyed the cruise and we're now ensconced on Cat Ba Island in Halong Bay for a couple of nights before returning to Hanoi and the hustle and bustle again.
The weather has got better, warm enough for swimming and we've braved the mopeds again. There's not much traffic here so it feels pretty safe.
Well we made it to Vietnam eventually and it's a chilly 16°c and raining so we're holed up in tiniworld (a soft play place with trampolines, ball pools and roller slides). The kids are in heaven. There's even Christmas tunes on!
Whilst most of you would have been nursing a hangover or watching football or cheesy Christmas films, boxing day for us saw the start of a two day testing journey up to Bangkok. We left the beauty of Ko Phayam at 10:00 after a great Christmas. Sharing the ferry with the supposedly famous Job2do was probably the highlight of the day. Definitely beat the bus journey that went turned from a promised 4hrs to 7. This was followed by taxi trying to rip us off and us hitching a lift with a lovely burmese couple to Pratchup Khiri Khan. A quick beer and broken nights sleep was followed by another mammoth day of minivan to HuaHin and train to Bangkok and taxi to airport hotel which was so far away from the airport we very nearly missed our flight when we set off at 5:30am. We turned up to huge queue at checkin with 55mins before takeoff and luckily were rushed through to the plane. Perfect timing if your nerves can stand it.
We're staying at Morning Hotel at the edge of the old quarter but near enough the lake to afford the kids a run around.
Otto is loving the cuisine whilst Jess is loving saying hello to everyone she sees.
Hanoi is a crazy, vibrant, beautiful shoppers paradise. We love it despite being ripped off shortly after arriving - I managed to pay £3 for a bunch of bananas!
We're here for 5 nights then off to Halong Bay cruising?
Happy New Year everyone and hope the Christmas festivities are going well. xxx
Search posts by destination:
Useful Links to other sites:
Authors (in a very loose sense of the word)
Kelly and Mikey (but mostly Kelly). We sold up in the UK to travel with our two littluns for a year or so. If you want to know more click the about us!