Time moves so fast. We have been in Vietnam nearly a week now, and I feel like a month of adventure has passed. Directly after we flew into Hanoi, we took an overnight train up to Sa Pa, which is really close to the Chinese border. We were in awe at the striking mountain formations jutting out of the valleys and layers upon layers of rice fields built into the steep sides. We spent a foggy few days hiking through these beautiful mountains and staying at a charming little home that reminded me more of a private bed and breakfast than homestay with their amazing meals and accommodations. Our hilarious little women guides Sue and Mai shoes us around the village one day, giving us a thorough overview of the history and cultural background of the integrated minorities throughout the village.
After our quick trip north, we backtracked by train through Hanoi and took a bus to Halong Bay. I did not have much of an idea of what to expect here, but words cannot begin to express the beauty of this place. More so, for our house boat I was picturing a tiny wooden thing that would basically fit us to sleep and eat in the same space, but man was I wrong again. We had a fantastic little antique ship that looked broken down from the outside, but had a classical restored inside with separate bedrooms, a magnificent dining room, and even a roof to lounge on in our free time! We spent three memorable days eating fresh exquisite seafood meals, exploring caves and beaches, swimming, jumping from the boat, and learning about the intriguing history of this enchanting place. what an incredible few day with one hilarious crew that we got to bond and dance party with the last night we were there!