Monday, January 4, 2016

Vietnam: Hoa Lu Tam Coc

Dallin and I were really looking forward to Vietnam because we had booked a overnight junk boat tour in Ha Long Bay. Sadly, once we landed and got to our hotel, we received an email from the tour company saying that our trip was cancelled because there was a bad storm in the ocean :/ And the government didn't let any boats out on the water for a few days because of it.

We were stressed because that was the main reason we came to Hanoi and we hadn't planned anything else to do! Luckily, we stayed at the best hotel and they quickly helped us make other plans. If anyone ever goes to Hanoi, then you must stay at the Hanoi Emerald Elegance Hotel! They were the best (and it was only like $45 a night!).

Our hotel booked us last minute on a tour of Hoa Lu Tam Coc, which ironically is called "Ha Long Bay" on land. So it all worked out! It was such a cool experience- we got to kayak through the jungle of Vietnam.

A tour bus first picked us up at our hotel around 8:00am and we drove for about an hour to get to a temple. We explored the temple for about an hour in the hottest heat ever!

I loved the pretty lily pads.

These were supposed to be authentic shrines, so Dallin and I were laughing that we spotted Coke cans stacked up as part of the shrine!

Next stop, we ate lunch at a Vietnamese buffet place. It was really good (minus the fact that Dallin saw a huge rat in the restaurant lol)! I'm just glad that he saw it and not me, I would have freaked.

Then, we hoped into a boat to kayak the river. 

A cute, older woman paddled us for the full two hours. It was adorable because she rowed us using her legs and feet the whole way like this.

We headed out into the jungle and it was gorgeous.

There were mountains on both sides, and the sounds made it feel like we were seriously in the middle of the jungle. I can't even describe it, it was so surreal.

There were little caves every now and then that we had to paddle under...

It felt like a magical dream! At one point, it started dumping the hardest rain I've ever felt for only like 30 seconds, and then it was gone. It was strange, and I was so glad that I had a pancho with me that moment because I had my nice camera. It seriously saved my camera!

At the end of the river, there were women in boats who sold snacks and drinks. 

This is definitely one of the coolest places I've ever been!

On the drive home in our tour bus, we saw miles and miles of rice patties after rice patties. It was really neat to see everyone working in the fields.



  1. Looks like you and Dallin had so much fun! That is so awesome you got to go to Vietnam! Love you :)

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