You can all let out a sigh of relief – we’ve made it to Hanoi, Vietnam safe and sound.  And thankfully the flight here was our last until mid-June (especially now, given the plane crash in Indonesia has reminded me of the main reason I really don’t like flying).

We spent last night in a tiny airport hotel room in Kuala Lumpur so we could make it to the really early flight on time (by the way, 4am wake ups don’t get any easier the more you do them).

Matt in our teeny tiny hotel room

Taken from outside the room cause it was too small inside

Me at sunset

At least the view from our tiny room was nice!

It was bearable for a night and the plus side is that our new room in Hanoi seems palatial in comparison. It is a super nice room though, and the staff at the place we are staying (May De Ville Backpackers) have been really nice and generous with helping us plan and sort out all our little side trips out of Hanoi easily.  And the room only costs $30 a night.  An equivalent in NZ would be about $200 a night so we’re pretty happy with our choice.

Before talking about Hanoi any more though, I should give a quick recap of our time in Langkawi.

After we discovered that the sun burns as badly in Langkawi as it does in New Zealand, our pool and beach time was quite limited.  So we basically just filled up all this spare time by eating. A LOT.  We had some good luck with our choices of local restaurants and quickly became regulars at a few spots (and bonded with one particularly nice effeminate waiter who welcomed us back more energetically each time we turned up) .  It might not have been super cheap but the food was AWESOME.

Our Pool

Our Pool

We did manage to squeeze ourselves in to a small glass cabin and went up the scariest Gondola ever (the thing nearly climbs vertically at one point and constantly threatened to fall off the cable) to get a view of the island.

Up the scary gondala

View from Cable Car

We also had fun chasing frogs and crabs around.  If that doesn’t sound exciting to you then you’ve obviously never done it.

Our foray in to frog chasing reminded us that basically anything that moves is considered fair game for a menu in these parts as a friendly local commented that we “can’t eat those ones – the other ones are the edible type” after enquiring about why we were running around chasing frogs at night.

Catching crabs was also good fun (sorry, had to say it) when the tide was out.  There were these little ones that were ridiculously quick and were all over the place and then there were the Hermit Crabs that would come out and try to slowly make their way home to the Sea.  Some of them managed straight lines but others had had a bit too much sea water to drink and would end up going in (slow) drunken circles.  You have to find your thrills where you can when stuck on an island whilst badly sunburnt.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wiu2jxkC8hw]

So that was Langkawi.

Our first impressions of Vietnam have been good.  The traffic is exciting and crazy just as expected (crossing the street is a lot more fun here than back home – we’ll have to post a video of it at some point as we’re pretty awesome at it already), the food (and coffee) is delicious and really cheap (along with everything else), and a “foot massage” actually means a full body massage but still only costs $10.  And the people seem happy.  I like it.

Matt in Hanoi

First Vietnamese coffee!

Very STRONG coffee with sweetened condensed milk

The rest of Hanoi will have to wait for now though as we’re off on a “Party Cruise” (yeah, that’s right, “Party Cruise” – we’re pretty cool) for 3 days, 2 nights on a boat in Ha Long Bay where we’ll hopefully get to tick off number 48 on our 100 Things List:  Swim in Ha Long Bay.

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