As we flew from Johannesburg through Singapore, we (finally) landed in Hanoi, Vietnam. We were picked up by the hotel transportation vehicle and drove to our hotel. I realized how lucky I was to be here in the busy city of Hanoi on the other side of the world from home.  While we were at the hotel we had a 2 hour nap after our 13 hour flight + 3 hours of airport waiting in Singapore.

Who knew Vietnam was so mountainous!

end of flight cockpit tour

one These was my bed when we arrived at La Selva. What an amazing hotel. Everything was perfect…highly recommended!

The first night my family and I tried new food. It was called Bun Cha. It was delicious!  On our second day, we took a walking tour with Hanoi kids in the morning . We had the most kid friendly tour guides who were super fun to be around. I got the chance to teach English to other young students passing by us on our walk.

Anh and Vu with the us showing us how to make the Vietnamese version of hand hearts

Hacky sack, but with a stack of coins on a stick with feathers at the other end to keep it in line.

Wilson getting an explanation about how the if a catfish can jump its way to the top of a waterfall, it will turn into a dragon which is a symbol for strength. Not something scary or to be feared.

The inkwell on top of the arch.

The pen.

The towering Catholic church that stands out from all of the other buildings in town.

We played “HeadsUp” for our 15 minutes of freedom while Deb and Lulu visited the water closet.

Watch out! Some prisoners escaped! Oh. Wait. It is just us.

 egg banana ice cream

In the afternoon we took a sight seeing scooter tour of the city. Riding on the scooters was so much fun. The traffic in Hanoi was crazy with the scooters not having to stop at red lights! The next night we had another scooter for trying Vietnamese food.  My favourite new food was the barbecues pork skewers with chilli sauce and the grossest food was the iced black bean dessert.

Mmmmm Bun Cha. Our fav dish in Vietnam.

Sitting at the Chefs Table. Curbside!

After Hanoi, we drove in our limousine bus to our cruise in Halong bay.  As we boated out to the cruise, we were told that it would not be so wavy which is good so I won’t get seasick.  It might get wavy the next day on our smaller day boat. In the afternoon we hiked through a SMALL small cave and the next day we took a long bike through a large island. On the bike we went through a dark long cave.  That night I cot two 12 year old squid and named them Mr. Sticky and Mr. Cups and our waiter said he would  cook them for my dinner but I told him we let them live free in the sea (we through them back into the ocean ).  The next day we left for main land and as we left I said my class and a lot of my friends would love this.

Cannonball!

Our luxurious boat!

Our little beach excursion was quite nice and secluded.

We left Ha Long Bay to go to Ninh Binh for three nights and 2 days on more scooters.  In Ninh Binh, we went on 2 boat tours and saw 7 temples and ate a lot of spring rolls and after a quick time in Nin Bin we left for Mai Chau.

FUN on the motorcycles

motorcycle selfie

…with some more obstacles

…and a bridesmaid!

…and ran into a bride coming up (she looks impressed)

HELLO from over here!

WE LOVE CANADA

..horse riding before the hike up the stairs

The boys climbed the Dragon

then we climbed down

The “roads” the motorcycles took us on!

Wilson and caves!

…..we go under

Ducks everywhere!

When we got to our villas we went swimming and I made the worst decision ever I ordered the spicy set!   It might not sound super spicy but it is California repper hot (ok a little less hot but as soon as my tongue was hovering over it I could feel the heat of the pepper). I really regret ordering it after throwing up for around the 10th time this trip the next day i did not feel good enough to bike so we took a scooter only me and dad out on the scooter for 8 hours and as soon as we got home we lumped in the pool.

We went back to Hanoi and walked around and the next day we left to shop until 3:00 and then left for Australia on the flight we thought about our favorite things.

My favorite things are:

Food

  • Spring rolls
  • Bun Cha (at the restaurant Bun Cha Ta)
  • Pho
  • Banana flower salad

Activities

  • Scootering with dad
  • Scootering Hanoi
  • Scootering Nin Bin
  • Roaming around temples
  • The walking tour with Hanoi Kids