Excerpt from the Journal of Olds – Day 90 – Bus to Ha Long Bay

We’re en route to our boat in Ha Long Bay and the hopes are for sun, sunrise, sunset, kayaks, monkeys and general good times.

We missed Nasreen due to an email that decided to only pretend to send, instead hiding away in the Outbox until it was too late. We still enjoyed a reasonable meal in the evening. The Hanoi Hilton [former POW prison] and the Army museum – my half-hearted attempts at “culture” – were eminently miss-able. Hanoi itself is the real attraction. Its French architecture reminds me of Shanghai’s French Concession and the cosy hustle-bustle of the old quarter proved far more endearing than I would have expected.

On our return to Hanoi we’ll likely spend another couple of nights getting organised for a departure southwards. There’s a temptation to attempt to acquire Thai and Cambodian visas early so they’re off the list. We also need to tie-down accommodation over Tet [New Year in this part of the world] because we’re getting reports that the whole region shuts down for 3 days. We shall see.