Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Sorry Hue, Sapa comes first!

20th Feb

Today was a bit of a washout, literally, as it was very cold and wet. I woke up, checked out and decided I didn’t want to go to Hue yet and definitely wanted to do Sapa, so I booked a tour with the awesome lady who we booked Halong Bay with. I then got the hostel to move my overnight bus to Hue to Saturday evening instead when I arrived back in Hanoi and move the accommodation I’d booked too. So Sapa was now on the cards, instead of the overnight bus I’m getting the overnight sleeper train to Lao Cai, (8hrs) then a bus to Sapa. Here I’ll be doing some light trekking into the hills for some scenery and waterfalls and to see some H’mong tribes people. I will then be staying with a local tribe family on a homestay and on Friday doing some more trekking, free time in Sapa and then the overnight train back to Hanoi. A day in Hanoi and then overnight bus to Hue on the 23rd – phew! So not much sleep for me over the next couple of days!

Me and Iris then just went for a walk to get poncho’s for the trip, some food, and I went to put my phone in to be fixed, get it back Saturday, so hopefully I won’t have to buy another MP3 player and can just start using my phone again. Then we met again at half 2 with Lorna and her friend Marie to go to Fanny’s Icecream Parlour as we’d heard it was good – and there were many puns/funny quotes to be used when eating it! Took us half hour to find the damn place but it was soooo good – I had the ice cream ‘spring rolls’ (crepes wrapped around raspberry sorbet and vanilla ice cream, with chocolate sauce, whipped cream and almonds – see picture left).

We then just came back to the hostel to wait for the night train and freshen up. Got our taxi to the train station where we had to wait for ages in the cold drizzle for the guy to get our tickets made (you get provisional tickets which you have to show at the station to get your actual tickets). Me and Iris were on different trains, mine left before hers so we said goodbye and I headed to my train on platform 8 – you have to cross over about 5 different train tracks to get to it! Turns out it’s actually probably the nicest overnight train I’ve ever been on, lovely soft bunks, massive cosy duvet, fluffy pillow, wooden cabins with a thick wooden door to close out the corridor, curtains, a big oak table in the middle with a bouquet of flowers and free water! The sinks and toilets were pretty good too – no squats – yay! I shared my cabin with 3 vietnamese lads who were actually American and were nice guys, felt safe at least! They played cards for a while and I watched some Grey’s Anatomy and then had about 5hrs sleep before arriving in Lao Cai at 5.30am.

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