Vietnam adventures - Sapa, Halong Bay, Cat Ba and Monkey Island

Day 4

So sapa here we are! It’s early in the morning and we get breakfast at a hotel before we depart for our tour planned for the day! The tour we are doing is through the sapa ricefields and visiting ethnic tribes. We started walking and it wasn’t as hot as in Hanoi luckily but still warm. It wasn’t just a walk it was lots of climbing down on slippery muddy uneven paths hahah. There were some local ladies older ladies who helped us through the walk. They were very nice and looked liked real locals, see the photos. The walk took us through beautiful views of the ricefields and we saw local kids trying to sell bracelets and playing in the fields or with a buffalo, yep really. The walk was 5 hours and made us pretty tired, luckily we had lots of water with and we were prepared. Halfway the tour we were asked if we wanted to plant some rice. ‘Ofcourse’, we said! We climbed down and over a little river, took our shoes and socks off and got in the buffallo shit and water up till out knees haha. We each got a handfull of plants and we were told to stick 2 or 3 plants in at a time, so we did. The locals were doing it with us and it was a fun experience! We had lunch at the end off the tour and we were happy when we finally arrived at the lunch spot. Rice, springrolls, the use for Vietnamese food hahah but it was delicious. After lunch and a half an hour walk to go we got picked up with a bus and brought back to sapa. We checked in the hotel and were happy when we had a shower and could chill because it had been a long trip directly after the night train.

Day 5

Breakfast time! Or should I say brunch? We found a cute italian restaurant and I ordered a baguette with an omelette, they don’t have that much here so I took my opportunity haha, and Tash had noodles. With a finished mango shake and watermelon shake we asked for the bill: ‘cha thien’.

We walked through sapa, which isn’t so big, but cute. In the middle of sapa there is a little green lake and we got into a little swan boat on the lake. The mountains on the back ground made it such a beautiful view and it was good the little boat had a roof so we were in the shade for a bit. Very much needed!

We had dinner on a balcony and we could look over a little square. The balcony was all green of plants and flowers, very cute. We ordered garlic bread, spring rolls and rice and sateed veggies with rice.

After dinner we went to a bar where we met some other travellers who had just been to Tokio. They gave me lots of tips. We played pool and table football and became friends with the Vietnamese bartender, Didi.

Day 6

I’m writing this blog as we’re on the bus from Sapa to Halong bay. We are on a sleeping bus which means all the “chairs” are in a laying position. Late afternoon we arrive in Halong bay after a 9 hour bus trip and a taxi ride.

We had to walk the stairs in the guesthouse we stayed in and in the heat plus our baggage that wasn’t very fun.

We went out for dinner later and Halong Bay has a cute strip of restaurants and a beautiful park with lights. Seafood everywhere but I didn’t go for seafood as I don’t like it really haha. After dinner we got some fresh fruit in a cup, watermelon and mango and dragonfruit, very delicious. Then we found karaoke, finally! Making my way downtown, walking fast...?. We loved it and so did the crowd, which excitsted of 2 older Vietnamese men hahahha.

Day 7

Waking up with the sound of the alarm going off. Halong bay tour today! I’m a bit sick but we’re still going, we wouldn’t want to miss out! The bus is at our guesthouse at 8:30 and we pick up the rest of the people for the tour before we go to the harbour. After the boat is outside of the harbour we can go on to the deck upstairs and guess who are there first hahah. Quick after we depart from the harbour we allready see all the beautiful rocks and islands. It’s a beautiful, warm humid and sunny day. Still we are the only ones in bikini as the rest is wearing clothes, but we are very happy we’re in our bikini’s for sure!

The first stop after a nice boat trip is a cave. Quite the workout with this heat and all the stairs that we have to walk getting in, around and out the cave, but atleast it is cool in the cave. It’s beautiful and big too. Something that has been happening to us is that Vietnamese people want to take photo’s of us. Some people want to go in the photo with or, some just want a photo of Natasha and me and some just make a photo without asking us. It’s like we’re an attraction to them. We also haven’t seen many backpackers. Because we were so sweaty and warm after we came out the cave we tried to get in to the water hahah but we heard somebody whistling immediately. Damnit. Back on the boat a small boat with fruits came next to out boat by our window and was trying to sell the fruits. Natasha negotiated and got a mango haha it was funny to see, what a good mango’s they have oee!

The second stop we could choose between  kayakking or go on a bamboo boat. We chose kayakking and it was a very beautiful spot! There were also monkeys, who looked cute... 

When we got back on the boat they set up the lunch for us in the boat, lot’s of seafood, rice, vegetables, springrolls, chicken. Delicious. The last stop after lunch was Ti Top island! We finally went for our swim there!? The water wasn’t cold, but it was so beautiful with the background!

On the way back we also got a watermelon who the lady on the boat cut for us, nothing more delicious with warm weather. All in total it was such an awesome day, wauw, paradise!!

I had facetimed my mom too because it was here birthday, happy birthday ??! And when we were almost back I got the news that I had a newborn little niece and I got to see her on Facetime!  What a day!

Day 8 

The next (late) morning we went out to find a place to have brunch. It was soo hot and we couldn’t walk for long before we really needed a break. We found a place to get some food and sat down to eat. After we had a little energy again we continued our way to the beach. It was to warm at the beach and the water wasn’t cooling us that much, also the only others there where Vietnamese. Very enoying Vietnamese who were filming us all the time so we had to be like excuse me No! Several times. So we didn’t stay long but it was good to have been doing something and we tanned, yes?. The way back was hard to so we stopped and had an ice cream in the airco somewhere inside before we did the second half. The rest of the day we didn’t do too much and chilled inside and watched some netflix, made a vlog.

Day 9

After breakfast we got picked up by transfer we arranged to go to Cat ba, our next stop. We got dropped off at the ferry and in Cat ba got on the local bus. A few hours later we stood before our hotel in Cat ba. It’s always a happy moment if you get to be in your hotel room and know you can have a shower and airco. The first thing we did however was check the bed, soft! Natasha the bed is soft! Yes that’s a first in 4 nights! 

Instead of Vietnamese food we for a change went for pizza at a cute restaurant  down the street from our hotel. Thats where lotts of restaurants are next to each other. The weather was a little cooler than in Halong bay, however still warm. The food was good and it was nice looking at the street life, scooters, people trying to sell their fruits, the use haha.

Day 10

The next day we went to rent a scooter and I drove. Our first stop was picking up our laundry, a few hundred meters further, just down the street hahaha. The evening before we dropped our laundry and they would wash dry and fold it for us. They weight your laundry and you pay per kg, 40.000 dong, but of course we made a good deal and did it for 30.000. We both had around 4 kg of laundry and it was needed to get it washed. When we dropped our clothes at the hotel again we took off, for real now hahha. Off to the beach girl!! The weather was perfect and it was so good touring on the scooter in stead off walking everywhere in the heat. We came down on the beach and took our clothes off and dived in and stayed in, we jumped over the waves, had a swim, did a competition with skipping stones. By the time we got out the water had almost filled the whole beach and we climbed up the stairs and got down to our scooter again. Road trip! It was super fun and so nice to have a little wind on the way! We went down to another beach that day, cruised around through to buffalo’s on the road and goat’s hahah. I also told Natasha to try to ride for a bit as she had never done it, that was fun, she did well, only a bit of screaming haha, shout out to you Tash! The only thing that was awful that day was lunch…  Ewwww, okay so what happened, we sat down in a real restaurant, ordered a watermelon milkshake and when Natasha took the first sip.. All of the sudden a freakin cockroach was in her mouth, ughh. So we left immediately, completely traumatized about how the fuck that can happen, she felt gross.

For dinner we just had noodles on our room because Natasha is a queen in naps, doesn’t matter what time it is. Also we didn’t feel like going out after the ‘incident’ that day as you might imagine, our trust in the food is gone hahahah.

With all our laundry we spend the night repacking our baggage, ready to go for the next day. 

Day 11

Goodmorning! Delicious breakfast again, pancakes with banana and watermelon and joghurt, I can have it every morning. After breakfast we check out and take a taxi to the ferry terminal which is only a few kilometer further. We wait a bit until we can hop on a little boat with only 2 other people and soon we hop off in Monkey Island! The way there was beautiful once again and we saw floating villages, lots of houses on the water. 

A little cabin, welcome to our crib, for the night at least haha. So monkey island exists of one resort. Op een onbewoond eeeiillaandd. (Tash is good in singing this one). We did a hike to get to the other side off the island, but it wasn’t a path, no it was basically just rocks… Hiking and climbing this on flip-flops and in sandals was kind off a challenge. We thought what are we doing, but we made it, unharmed, to the other side. An almost private beach, shared with some monkeys, who were hiding for us tho. We did some sunbathing until lunch time. We hiked back and had noodles and Tash spring rolls for noodles, between you and me I think she is addicted to spring rolls.. We had a beautiful view from the restaurant. All you can do on the resort is chill, sunbath and swim, so the next stop was the pool. We stayed in so long that we thought our granny fingers wouldn’t recover ever. They did. We stayed in so long that after our shower it was time for dinner and after that we decided, well what the hell with our budget hahah let’s get a cocktail. With a sex on the beach and a pina colada we said cheers to our holiday, sitting on a second level of a restaurant with an amazing view of islands in the distance and a beach underneath you, with a lovely weather, finally not too warm! Not to ruin the image, but the cocktails were a bit shit, too strong hahah.

Day 12

After breakfast we check out again and we expect to go to Hanoi with the transfer they would arrange for us. Unfortunately not everything goes as planned when you travel, this is one of those days.. A lot of waiting, lots of calls and miscommunication and frustration later there is finally a bus showing up. At least 3 hours later then what was supposed to be… Try to get yourself over it and just hope for the best that the rest of the trip isn’t as stressful or full of surprises.. We we’re just a bit over it at this point. So finally in the bus, they took us to the ferry to go to the mainland. It took around an hour and there we had to get off, take our bagage again and once off the ferry we hopped in another bus to go to Hanoi city centre. Around 3 hours later that is where we arrived and there we had to get a taxi to go to our hotel located next to the airport. 40 minutes later and a total of 9 hours of waiting and traveling instead of 4 we were happy to see our hotel. Luxury hotel, thank you.

Day 13

Brekkie, pancakes for me, omelet for Tash, watermelon for both!! What else? Nooo a few hours and then Tash is flying back to Sydney.. See you in a year I guess, gonna miss u baby shark, u weirdo. Thanks for the awesome adventures girl, we’ll make many more in a year, Europe, Canada, it’s all planned out! Sorta ?

And I’m flying to Japan in a few hours, wow, new adventures awaiting. I’m curious, see you there for my new blogs and vlogs!



Oma Lydia

Mooi opgeschreven weer... mooi avontuur, nu op naar Japan, heel benieuwd hoe het je daar vergaat ? Goede reis


Leuke vlog weer!!! Toch weer anders om
zo terug te lezen in plaats van dat je het op what’s app vertelt. You’re funny!!
Gaaf hoor wat je allemaal weer hebt gezien!! En ondanks de kakkerlak en de vermoeiende reizen tussendoor, en al het klimmen, is het een fantastische ervaring! Zoo fijn dat je het met die lieve Natasha hebt kunnen meemaken!
Veeeeeel plezier in Japan, en over 2 weekjes....??????????❤️

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