Saturday, 15 March 2014

Vietnam 7-Day Itinerary: Day Six and Seven

7 Day Itinerary in Vietnam

Read Day 1 here - Ho Chi Minh City
Read Day 2 here - HCMC
Read Day 3 here - Mekong Delta
Read Day 4 here - Hanoi
Read Day 5 here - Hanoi to Halong
Read Day 6 and 7 here - Halong Bay/Departure

Day 6

We left the hotel early in the morning at 7:30am and ate pho for breakfast at a nearby place. Then we went to the Halong Bay pier to buy our tickets for the boat ride.

Boat ride ticket VND 120,000
Brittney's cousin is familiar with Halong Bay so he paid about USD85 for us to have a boat all to ourselves. It was pretty awesome to not have to compete for photo taking spots with other tourists.

Type of boat we traveled on
The weather was overcast and misty with light drizzling rain. So of course Halong Bay didn't look anything like the blue skied version found on Google Images but it was still eerily beautiful.

Halong Bay
There are people who live on the water and sell seafood. We stopped by one of the floating seafood places. You can buy fresh seafood and have the chef cook it for you on the boat for lunch.

Seafood sold here!
Next we went to Dau Go Cave (admission required, about VND 30,000-50,000). The photos don't do it justice because you can't tell the depth. Some people think the rainbow lights are tacky but I find it's a unique way to enhance the cave.

Dau Go Cave
The cave was the last destination of the boat ride. On the way back to the pier we enjoyed a seafood lunch freshly prepared by the chef on board. There was shrimp, fish, vegetables, etc.

Lunch on water
Leaving the pier, the drive from Halong back to Hanoi only took about four hours this time and we reached Hanoi by 3:30pm. We checked into Golden Time Hostel 2 and said good bye to Brittney's cousin and his wife. This hotel was nice and clean which we were relieved about as compared to last night's experience.

The night was still young so we explored Old Quarter.

Hanoi destinations Day 4, 5 and 6
We were chatting with the receptionist at our hotel and she gave us vouchers to try free coffee at Hwang Mai coffee shop. It took 10-15 minutes to walk there.

The coffee shop lady spoke good English and asked us for our coffee preference when we presented her the voucher. We got to try weasel coffee and it tasted delicious with condensed milk. She didn't pressure us into buying anything which we appreciated.

Hwang Mai coffee shop
From the coffee shop, we walked to Joma Bakery and enjoyed baked goods. My cheesecake tasted really good with a hint of lemon.

Joma Bakery cheesecake (VND 65,000)
It was a relaxing way to explore Hanoi on our last evening there :)

Day 7

The last day in Vietnam we ate the complementary breakfast at our hotel and took a taxi that the hotel booked for us to the airport. From Old Quarter to the airport was about an hour drive and cost USD15. The Noi Bai airport is a bit confusing so you may want to go slightly earlier to find the check-in counter for your airline (especially if it's a budget airline). We had a safe flight home to conclude our trip in Vietnam!

End of trip!

Read Day 1 here - Ho Chi Minh City
Read Day 2 here - HCMC
Read Day 3 here - Mekong Delta
Read Day 4 here - Hanoi
Read Day 5 here - Hanoi to Halong
Read Day 6 and 7 here - Halong Bay/Departure

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