After the epic travel from Hue to Hanoi…I still cannot believe I survived. Alannah and I crashed out in the lounge of Hanoi Backpackers, a place we would be in a state of constant disbelief (watch this space for the Halong Bay Party Tour), but for today a place to recover. We couldn’t check in until 1pm and we had time to kill. But very shortly we got chatting to one of the nicest yet craziest people I’ve ever met in my life. His name is McKenzie. He leched on us and after some good banter, he convinced us to go ur that night to a few bars down the road. We partied with the Smurfs…don’t ask. Check out the pic below, I thought a girl was trying to grope Alannah but it’s a trick. Alannah and her crazy tops. Check out a blue McKenzie strutting his stuff.

Always an early riser, I decided to take advantage of the free walking tour that Hanoi Backpackers run on a daily basis in the mornings. Check out the pics below to find out what Hanoi backstreets are like. The tour guide, Set, was very knowledgable about the place and she told us to go into this street cafe and taste Vietnamese tea. Honest to god, I nearly doubted Yorkshire Tea to be the best tea ever when I put the tea to my lips. Sorry Yorkshire, you’re still my favourite but can I have a tea mistress please?

During a chat with Set as the other walkers checked out a temple, I soon discovered her ambitions to be a traveller and learnt English fluently. She spoke English really well and I wish her the best in her travel plans.

Now, I have to tell you something about Hanoi. It’s sooooooooooo HOT. I’m not kidding, I would be sat there not doing anything with the fan wafting on me and I would be running a river off the edge of my nose. When I attended the Hanoi Backpackers BBQ, I had to help change the beer barrel, as I used to be a barman back in the day, and seriously, lifting one barrel on top of another and placing in the tap caused my clean t-shirt to be soaked with sweat already. I took offence when one backpacker gave a grimace, stepping away to say ‘oh…you’re one of those sweaters aren’t you…‘ I had to protest I wasn’t. I should have told hm to look around, everyone had sweat patches as if it was a fashion rage. Hanoi has been the only place where I lived for the air con. Oh, Hanoi.

The BBQ went well. Alannah and I met lots of people who were to take the same Halong Bay Tour as us the next day so we ended up chilling in the hostel for the rest of the night. We needed to pack our small travel pack for the 3 day tour as backpacks were not allowed. This involved a lot of asking what we would need. Filling my travel bag to half capacity, I was still suspect that I forgotten something. I’m too used to having my backpack so full!

After retrieving messages from Home, it was time for an early night as we would need to be up at 6.30am for the craziness of the Rock Hard and Rock Long Halong Bay Tour….

I actually really liked Hanoi despite the heat. It felt very town like and not a sprawling city like Saigon. I think I stumbled on why. I’ll tell you when we come back from Halong Bay when I would spend a few more days in Hanoi.

What did you think of Hanoi?