This was our first ever organised tour. You’ll usually find us travelling independently, often with a car, with some things pre-booked and others left to chance.
We weren’t sure if we’d like it, but a 15-night 2-4-1 Vietnam & Cambodia deal was way too good to pass up. Stay tuned to find out if we loved it or hated it.
After the obligatory departure drink (with Percival Pelican and Cassie the Cassowary) …
… and uneventful flights, we arrived in Ha Noi in the north of Vietnam. Once installed in our hotel, we headed out to explore the streets and the food. We had lunch at a random place in the back streets and considered how far we could venture without re-learning how to cross the road.
Before we left home we’d researched some basic words and phrases and some common foods. Stu’s love of, some might say obsession with, food meant that we already knew quite a few but thought it would be good to venture a little further into local culture. More exciting for him than me. Followers will know that he lives to eat and I eat to live.
I think we both agreed, though, that the most important phrase to know was “Bia hoi”.
We had hoped to go to one of the museums here, but the guide who picked us up from the airport told us that they were all closed. This was early February 2020 and near the beginning of the developing Covid-19 pandemic and there was a lot of uncertainty in Vietnam at that time.
In retrospect, I think the museum may have been open and we should at least have tried, but we enjoyed exploring the local area.
On the way back to the hotel we ducked into the ubiquitous Irish pub for a drink. Well, in truth, Stu needed to go to the loo but, you know, any excuse! We sat and chatted for ages with 2 English couples. May have had a glass or two too many.
We headed to a backpacker area for dinner and walked back through a seafood market.
It turns out that crossing the road isn’t nearly as scary as it looks once you’ve done it a couple of times. Just walk straight, don’t look and, whatever you do, don’t stop.