We were on the bus for HOURS! And of course I chose this bus journey in particular to get ill. I hardly slept as I felt so rough and hadn’t really eaten any thing. We eventually got to the laos/Vietnam boarder at 5am but the boarder doesn’t open until 8am! I threw up twice on the boarder, which was truly vile. We made a stop to drop of tones of wood which they were pulling out of god knows where, and so a journey that should have taken 22hours ended up taking 26hours instead. We eventually arrived at the bus station which was miles out of town and miss squire had already warned me about getting taxis in Hanoi so when some guy got on our bus offering a mini bus service for everyone I thought it was a pretty good idea. However by the time charlie and I had got all our bloody bags off the coach, somehow we had managed to loose everyone, other than two Spanish girls who didn’t speak a great deal of English! We stuck together and decided our only option was a cab so with the helpful tips from amie we managed to agree a price first so we weren’t ripped off and after nearly dieing we got to Hanoi backpackers. We found somewhere to stay and went to grab some street food, despite how ill I was feeling.
The street food was amazing! I just ordered so rice to try and settle my stomach but even that was great! Just after our food had arrived, all of a sudden a police siren was going off and everyone was being ushered off the street! The owner picked up our table and took it into a room down a back ally, which we later realised was where she lived. So we say in her front room/bed room eating our dinner until we had finished! It was very bizarre and hilarious at the same time. As I was still feeling very ill we called it a night.
The next morning I was feeling no better so we went to the chemist to try and get some tablets to help. Several tablets later we went in search of Hanoi backpackers to book our halong bay trip. We booked our trip and managed to also get our bus ticket sorted all at once, very productive day! Once we were done we went in search of some lunch and came across the first of many restaurants to offer dog on the menu! We could quite bring ourselves to ordering it, especially as I was still feeling very ill! We ate and headed into town to have a wonder round the lake and see some of the sites.
We took a stroll round the lake before heading to the cathedral round the corner. We wanted to go to the woman’s prison museum but it was already shut, so instead charlie braved a hair cut, which turned out surprisingly ok and I got a manicure, which was surprisingly terrible before heading back to the hotel. That night we found some more great street food for dinner, an amazing noodle soup with pork, before calling it a night as we had to be up early for our halong bay trip the next morning.