I am currently sitting here in the dark typing up this blog, as I realised last night that I had yet to post my blog about Halong Bay, I haven’t said anything about Hanoi, and I even missed out a blog about Hue and Hoi An!
As it would stop the chronological flow of my blog so far (and I can’t be bothered, as it’s 6:30am on our last day in SE Asia and before our airport transfer at 12, we still have a few things we want to do!) all I shall say about Hue and Hoi An is that they’re beautiful, definitely worth going to if you’re ever in the neighbourhood, and there are some photographs on my facebook. Short and sweet!
I cannot believe that we start our journey home today. We have a 2 hour flight from Hanoi to Bangkok and a 4 hour wait there. We then have a 7 hour flight to Abu Dhabi, and a 2 hour wait there, followed by an 8 hour flight to Manchester, where we land at 7:25 GMT. Oh the joys.
The past three months have gone so quickly, and we’ve genuinely enjoyed every minute of it. It’s so hard to pick a favourite, as I’ve enjoyed so many aspects of each place, but (in no order at all):
• Sukhothai (Thailand) was one of my all-time favourite places, everything about it was great, and I would very happily return there
• Cycling round Chiang Mai (Thailand) searching down all the temples was lots of fun
• Singapore just in general was amazing (especially the zoo)
• Kuala Lumpur was a favourite city, the Petronas Towers are worthy of a visit in their own right
• The Reclining Buddha in Bangkok
• The slow boat along the Mekong River to Luang Prabang
• The journey from Luang Prabang to Vientiane
• Halong Bay!
• The food in Penang (Malaysia)
• Angkor Wat
• Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon, Vietnam) was just a great city, with a great character and atmosphere
And I’m sure that doesn’t even touch the surface of my favourites! People have kept on asking us the same question along the way: ‘If you could return to one place, and one place only, where would it be?’ this has always been difficult for us to answer, and there have been so many places we’ve loved. But I think my honest answer would have to be Hanoi. I have absolutely loved Hanoi. (obviously I then ramble on to list all the other places I have to go back to…!)
Hanoi though, has just been an extremely enjoyable city. You don’t get harassed by people, it’s vibrant, crazy, busy, beautiful, friendly, and despite me describing it as crazy (because the traffic really is!), it’s also kind of relaxed!
We’ve seen the cathedral (and heard the bells chime one night, and seen the Maundy Thursday service), seen pagodas, prisons, a mausoleum, museums, temples, water puppets…so much! We’ve eaten great food and bought presents (you lucky people!) and souvenirs. And I don’t want to leave!
So if you’re contemplating a trip to SE Asia, then you have to do it. You’ll see beautiful landscapes and beautiful buildings, meet really friendly people, and eat amazing food. You’ll constantly be shocked at how cheap the beer is (how cheap everything is), how crazy the traffic is (and how you have managed to not be killed by a scooter), and how beautiful everything really is.
A SE Asia trip was the first (of many) on our list of places we will go to, and I’m glad it was, as Singapore and Malaysia gradually got me used to the craziness of it all, and Cambodia and Vietnam just left me wanting more!
So thank you for reading my blog, whoever you all are, it’s been nice to know that there’s been so many! Keep your eyes out for our next blogging trip, which Lee is apparently already planning, Peru anyone…?