There is beauty on everything, just not everybody sees it. This quote comes to my head when I think how little I liked Vietnam after coming from relaxing and welcoming Philippines. My stay in the country was as brief as eight days and only visited the north of the country.
This was our itinerary:
Hanói – 1 day
Cat Ba – 4 days
Sapa – 3 days
Where to stay: Vietnam Backpackers Downtown – beware is a party hostel
Where to eat: Street food! Pho, fresh rolls, noodles… so cheap and yummy
How to get there from Palawan: flight from Puerto Princesa with Cebu Airlines
How to move around: everything is kind of walking distance, so challenging as the trafic is insane.
*Hanoi* all my pictures are taken with iphone6 and Photoshop free
Where to stay: Ali Baba guest house – 8€ doublé room, big, clean with view of the bay
Where to eat: the restaurants are quite affordable, there was not much street food
How to get there: we took a shuttle bus from Hanói to Dinh Vu, a ferry to Cat Ba and another shuttle bus from the pier to town. Everything was arranged with a travel agency in Hanói for 18€ per person.
What to do: a boat tour to Halong Bay, trek to the National Park or chilling at the beach number 3.
How to move around: the beach is walking distance but you need a motorbike or a tour to visit the National Park.
Where to stay: Lucky hostel was alright, just oppposite the bus drop off point
What to do: do a trek on your own or arrange it with the Mama´s (trival ladies) who offer a homestay plus trek for about 16-18€ per person including meals.
How to get there: the night bus from Hanói departs at 10pm and arrives around 6am. It is super confortable and safe.
Tip: would recommend Mama Xhoxho, she was so welcoming and funny! Her house is 16km away from Sapa town.
How to move around: everything is pretty much walking distance.