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Last day in Hanoi

Hanoi Travel Blog

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Trying to nap, but it's too hot

People who made my travels more enjoyable: Michelle (USA), Phillip (England), Allison (England), Julie (Denmark), Karina (Denmark), couple from Belgium and Spain 
 
We woke up around 7am (again), and I was greeted by sunshine and heat as soon as I opened the door to our room. I hadn't slept that well the night before. As mentioned previously, I'm quite terrified of boats, so sleeping on the water was no easy feat. I was also startled to see that there was no evidence of the previous night's torrential downpour. Not a cloud in the sky! 

We left our cabin and went upstairs to grab some breakfast.

Michelle and our new friends playing an Israeli card game
Most of the other tour participants had already left their rooms and surrendered their A/C remote controls. In an effort to maximize profits, the boat operators had some strict rules about the A/C. In an immature attempt to spite said operators, I left the A/C running full-blast throughout the night. Unfortunately my plan backfired. Over the course of the evening I had become more accustomed to the cooler temperatures, but now without A/C, I was a miserable sweaty mess.  

Michelle and I sat around playing cards with our fellow tour mates while the boat slowly made it's way back toward shore. After an hour or two on the boat, we reached our dropping off point. The same shuttle boat that had brought us to the junk a day earlier, now took us back to shore. Once on shore we all loaded our luggage in the back seat of a 15 passenger van.

Michelle and I at lunch
As we drove along our guides informed us that we would make two stops on our journey back to Hanoi. First we would stop at a cute little restaurant for lunch, and then we would visit another tourist rest stop. I wonder if the tour operators had some agreement with these tourist-rest stop owners? 

We spent our lunch admiring the view and taking advantage of the plentiful shade. Again, the food was rather delicious and we took our time with multiple courses. The wait staff was very attentive and pleasant, I wish I would have saved the name of the restaurant! While at lunch we sat across the table from a couple that hailed from Madrid. They had joined our group on the last day and were now traveling with us back to Hanoi. They spoke English well and we had a pleasant conversation about the World Cup, among other things.

Fooling around at the tourist rest shop. No A/C of course...
The woman had spent several years living in New York and with Michelle being from New York too, they had plenty to talk about.  

Once back in the van, Michelle and I found ourselves in a usual state of uncomfortableness. If you haven't noticed from my pictures, I look more or less miserable in about half of the pictures we took. Everyone else didn't seam to mind, and while everyone slept, Michelle and I counted the minutes until we reached Hanoi. The drive went smoothly enough and our pit-stop at the tourist shop was even shorter on the way out. I had just enough time to use the facilities and try one some farmer hats. I wish I could have brought one back to the States with me! 

Once back in Hanoi, our tour guides began dropping off one passenger after another.

Bun Cha! We've waited so long!
Our hotel was closest to Hoan Kiem Lake and so we were one of the last tour participants to be dropped off at our hotel. Ever since we had arrived in Hanoi, Michelle had been talking about a certain type of Vietnamese dish, Bun Cha. So far, we hadn't been able to reach the Bun Cha restaurant before they closing time. Today, we had just enough time to make it before closing. We checked back into the Hanoi New Day Hotel, dropped off our bags, changed into some cooler clothes and walked to the restaurant. We were able to find a seat upstairs at a small table. Michelle and I hunched down on our small plastic stools and began to dig into the feast that lay before us. Bun Cha includes fried meatballs, a salty broth, rice noodles and the customary Vietnamese veggies (sprouts, cilantro, etc.). Michelle and I dug in. Famished after a day of travel, we quickly wolfed down our meal. After paying for our meal we returned to the hotel for a night of R&R. Tomorrow, Michelle and I would fly to Guangzhou China!

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Trying to nap, but its too hot
Trying to nap, but it's too hot
Michelle and our new friends playi…
Michelle and our new friends play…
Michelle and I at lunch
Michelle and I at lunch
Fooling around at the tourist rest…
Fooling around at the tourist res…
Bun Cha! Weve waited so long!
Bun Cha! We've waited so long!
Bun Cha closeup
Bun Cha closeup
Lots of garlic and chili (might as…
Lots of garlic and chili (might a…
Mongolian freighter in Vietnam? (S…
Mongolian freighter in Vietnam? (…
Falcon (cool name for a boat)
Falcon (cool name for a boat)
Michelleeee
Michelleeee
Everyone is passing the time playi…
Everyone is passing the time play…
Im such a wimp haha
I'm such a wimp haha
Our junk
Our junk
Goodbye!
Goodbye!
Such a calm setting
Such a calm setting
Everyone at lunch
Everyone at lunch
Michelle is eager to start eating
Michelle is eager to start eating
Hanoi
photo by: mario26