Arrived in Vietnam quite early, the hotel was nice enough to let us check in first. I think once we arrived, we upgraded to get a better lake view, although the room didn't really have the view that I had imagined. It was actually quite a small window at the Sofitel near the lake, maybe I should have booked the Sofitel downtown instead. The reason why I booked the Sofitel by the lake was because I saw the Taiwanese travel show live there when they went to Hanoi, so I decided to give it a try. The service at the hotel was great though and it had this bar on the top of the building, which I regret that I did not go, since I got too tired and decided to stay in my room and watch much music.
The first day was kind of boring, we basically stayed at the hotel, booked our trip for the next day to Halong Bay and went to town to find some street food. Again, I decided to eat on the street without thinking twice about the consequences! The street that the concierge recommended was actually quite sketch, but I'm sure it was the norm in Vietnam, but it doesn't compare to North America of course. But the black chicken soup was amazing, although we got this English menu to order, which was probably more expensive than what the locals were charged. The restaurant was the busiest one we found so we decided to sit down for some food. Honestly, it's kinda like Chinese food, really similar to Cantonese food.
So how did I end up in Vietnam? I was actually planning to go to Hai Nan in China instead, but a friend who went to Singapore for exchange as well recommended for us to go to Vietnam. Then, I told Yi, and he said that Top Gear went and it looked amazing, well on TV it did with their special shooting gear and edits. He really wanted to go to Hoi An, where Top Gear stayed at the Nam Hai resort, which was quite expensive and we kind of ran out of money as Vietnam was one of the last trips, so we decided to go to another five star resort instead, like 1/5 of the price! So there I was, in Vietnam.
There's also a story behind how I ended up in three different cities in Vietnam, but I shall save that for another post.
Yi really wanted me to go to the spa, since it was something you had to experience in Southeast Asia and I had refused in Phuket and Bali (where it Spa was probably much much and I mean muchhhhh better!!!!). I totally regret it. So, as the last trip, I decided to satisfy his demand and go get my nails and toe nails done, which I think was one of the cheaper items on the menu. Still it cost like around $67 US (which honestly, should be much cheaper in Vietnam) and they just made me sit in a box like room that was really tiny and the lady made me bleed when filing my nail. Wasn't a great experience.