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Hanoi downtime

I’d intended to stay in Cat Ba town for a couple more days, then head back to Hanoi for one more night before my flight to Vientiane. Cat Ba is supposedly a backpacker-oriented place with lots of adventure activities on offer such as kayaking, rock-climbing and trekking through the national park. But other travellers I’d […]

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Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay

Halong Bay is one of the iconic images of Vietnam, comprising almost two thousand jagged limestone islands topped with dense vegetation all rising sharply from the water. This spectacular setting has been a tourist attraction for hundreds of years, and today there are numerous options to visit Halong Bay ranging from a day trip on […]

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Still in Hanoi

Today’s been one of the most productive days of the whole trip: Got up early, had pho for breakfast at a smart joint nearby, then headed off for some serious walking around the southern part of town. Visited the Museum of the Vietnamese Revolution, the crazy market area of the French Quarter (long lanes less […]

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Hanoi is electrifying, pulsing with manic energy all day and half the night. It’s just what I needed to pull me out of the funk I fell into last week. This city of almost four million people sprawls for miles, with rural villages on the outskirts, varying degrees of dense suburbs as you head towards […]

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Bugger Sapa, I’m going to Hanoi

I abandoned a bus today, getting off it at the first opportunity. In a land where the highways are generally unsafe – where overtaking on blind corners is considered a right not a risk – I found this driver so certifiably insane that I could not stomach another minute of his madness. The large town […]

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