You buy, You buy…

I’ve now been to Ha Long Bay.  We had a lovely overnight cruise on the bay on fantasticweather.  The boat we stayed on is like a floating hotel so each room had twin beds and and ensuite (yeah we’re totally roughing it).  Because it was sunny we were able to sea kayaking and swimming in one of the sheltered harbours.  I had a great time exploring on the kayak and the swim was good, if a tad chilly.  It was definitely one of the best boat trips we’ve had on this trip (along with the Mekong Delta). 

After we returned to Hanoi for a few hours, we boarded the night train for Sapa.  The train actually goes to Lau Cai and you catch a bus to Sapa – it’s about an hour away.  It’s lovely up here in the mountains again.  A bit hazy and cool but sunny weather all round.  A few hours after we got in from the train we all went on a couple of hours hike to the bottom of the valley (and back again) to visit an ethnic tribal village (and see a waterfall).  I suppose it’s good practice for the overnight hike tomorrow.  Sapa has quite a few tourists which means that many local tribeswomen come up the valley to wander around town selling you things (mostly bags).  Every time you leave the hotel – you buy, you buy; where you from?; what’s your name?  Never tell them maybe later because they will remember you.  Nevertheless there are some lovely things for sale in Sapa, so I’m definitely going to do some shopping before I leave.