Cat Ba island

Arriving in the town it was like a ghost town. Hardly anything was open and there was no one about. Low/cold season is clearly not the time to visit Cat Ba island. We checked into our hotel (which boasted two swimming pools with two amazing twirly wirly slides sadly too cold to use) and looked out at the view. We hired a scooter for the day and traveled the 1 road island to see a cave used as a hospital in the war and also the national park. After nearly being eaten by dogs we climbed to the highest point and looked out at the breath taking views. On the evening we finally had showers (yes we were stinking) and had some really good western food.
Being valentines day the following day we had a huge breakfast, chilled and watched the notebook before walking along the coast and then spending the afternoon kayaking and playing on the beach (in the freezing cold still).
We were up early the following morning to start out journey back to Hanoi then onto Hue. 42 people were crammed onto a 16 seater bus to take us back to the boat. Luckily we were able to appreciate the boat journey this time but the food was still rank.
We are now currently on our 26th hour of traveling from Ha Long Bay Hue, very numb bums and hungry tums!

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Chiangmai!

A complete change from Bangkok.

Chiangmai is a lovely city, it doesn’t smell, there aren’t people trying to sell you something every 5 minutes and tuktuks take you to your destination not to their uncles shop!

There is so much to do in Chiangmai, we spent 5 days here and could have spent longer! We elephant rode, bamboo rafted, jungle trekked, visited hill tribes, zip lined through the jungle, saw white temples, hot springs, the golden triangle and lots of markets! The night bazaar is a big outdoor market at night time in Chiangmai. It is brilliant! We both wished we’d come with empty rucksacks so we could have filled them here! We’ve both got a bit tired of only eating different variations of rice and noodles so have sought more western food but throughout chaingmai noodles or western the food has been good. As it was also my birthday we spent a day shopping and experience a thai massage. Brilliant experience, though a little painful. Chiangmai has a strip of 100+ bars that we found we ended up at most nights, although we were quite civil all week. On our first night wandering the night bazaar we stumbled across a cabaret show. This was strangely very entertaining though a little confusing!

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Bangkok!

We have spent our first few days traveling and survived woo! We have visited many temples, seen lots of Buddhist, tried some strange food and drink concoctions, had a lot to drink on kao San road, watched a ping pong show (you only ever need to do this once scarred for life!), had some crazy rides in tuktuks, been taking into “my uncles suit shop” twice, seen a floating market, bargained prices, met some cool Italians and Americans, went to the sky bar (hangover 2), actually spent time lying by a pool (all be it a few hours) and just generally experienced as much as we can! Off now up to Chiangmai to see elephants, white water rafting, see temples and beautiful scenery. Hopefully it smells a lot better than Bangkok!

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