We were sad to leave our friends behind in Mui Ne, but our tastebuds were comforted (and watering) at the fact that we were on our way to the culinary capital of Vietnam. After a 15-hour overnight train ride, we finally reached our favourite city in Vietnam - Hoi An.
After such a great X-Mas in Mui Ne last year, we just couldn't resist going back and escaping the Canadian cold. We were excited to see and hang out with all the great people we met last year in Vietnam.
Thanks to Peter and Phong, we manage to go back to the same hotel as the previous year (which was 1 minute from the beach). We quickly settled back into our simple routine: eat, drink, sleep, work, kitesurf, repeat.
The wind this year was very unusual for the area.. weaker and with several no-wind days in a row, but we still managed to have many great kitesurfing days nonetheless. After 2 months, we can definitely say that our kitesurfing skills have improved.
Here is a video update of Dom's mad new kitesurfing ninja skills:
It was another successful Xmas adventure abroad. We're happy to have some more awesome new memories of the great times we had with everyone here.
After 2 weeks in Vietnam, our friend Steve (whom we met in Greece), organized a "Heroes vs Villains" theme party for his birthday. Finding supplies in the small town of Mui Ne, Vietnam, to make a last minute costume is a bit of a challenge!! ...but everyone managed to pull off some great costumes in the end - we were impressed.
Halong Bay is situated 4 hours west of of Hanoi and is one of the most popular and appreciated destinations in Vietnam. The main attraction is a leisurely cruise aboard a Junk (flat-bottomed sailing vessel with a prominent stem and lugsails), amidst the 1,969 islands/karsts that populate the bay.
The tough question is: "Which company/boat should you choose?". There are hundreds of companies that offer Halong Bay cruises for all budgets. As much as the reviews show the cruises are loved, they are also hated by a lot of people: crowds / too many boats in the bay, rats/cockroaches in the boats, sinking boats, bad food or crew, etc.. We were lucky enough to run into a family in Hoi An who highly highly recommended Indochina Junk. Indochina Junk is currently the only company that is licensed to cruise and stay in Bai Tu Long Bay - a less frequented part of Halong. Since the cruise also included activities such as kayaking, swimming, visiting caves & visiting a fishing village, we were sold and booked a 3 day 2 night cruise. Unfortunately, since it's high season and Indochina Junk has such a good reputation, it meant waiting an extra 3 days in Hanoi before their next availability….but it was worth the wait.
After a 12 hour night bus, we arrived in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. We intended to just pass through since it's on the path to Halong Bay, but ended up spending a lot of time here because we had to wait on availability for our Halong Bay Cruise.