Ho Ho Hanoi and hello again Thailand! 25.12.16 Joe

 

Waking up in a nicer hotel we were distinctly aware that Santa wouldn’t be visiting our hotel and things would be very different this year. We got ourselves a present in the form of yet another egg coffee (Cafe Pho Co is the best cafe for it!) and a stroll around town to see what festivities were going on. We managed to find some drinkable wine and some okay chocolate to celebrate and with the help of a Christmas playlist and a ridiculously hard quiz from Smell (Mel). I also had to watch Love actually, which wasn’t as bad as I thought but maybe the wine just disguised it.

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We found an awesome little bar called the hill station for dinner and it was a long-awaited meal of cheeses, duck and even some buffalo biltong from Sapa. We highly recommend this place and the biltong is a must!

A few more drinks and some foozball made it feel less like Christmas but a fun evening nonetheless. It got more exciting when a very over enthusiastic Asian couple joined us and picked up the pace. As we had to be up early for our flight we left them too it.

Arriving back in Bangkok was expectantly hot and a nice change from North Vietnam. Our first trip on the sky train was easy so we jumped on from the airport and I decided that we should walk from our stop to the hotel. Our route started through some really nice markets with very few tourists but soon we were squeezing down small alleys next to the most rotten smelling river feeling all the while that we were walking through people’s gardens. Of course we managed it after an hour and 20 minutes (fully laden with our bags) but had to spend the next couple of hours recovering. Anyone who’s done Glastonbury will know the pain we endured by the end of this walk.

dsc_0022Next day and it was time to check in to yet another hotel and visit Wat Pho, site of the famous Lying Bhudda, that we’d missed on our last visit. The buildings within the complex were so intricately detailed and the Lying Bhudda did not disappoint.

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There were still loads of mourners passing through the nearby Grand palace and on such a hot day, wearing all black, I can’t imagine how hot they must have been.

Back to Khaosan Road for some well needed Pad Thai from a lovely women and her cart we became fully immersed in the food and came back for more the next day.

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Eager to leave the big city and seek out some natural beauty we headed to Erawan falls, not far from the bridge over the River Kwai and about 4 hours on a minibus. We arrived to the stunning Erawan national park and the long juddery drive seemed well worth it. With 7 steps to the waterfall we decided, as exercise has become a long forgotten word to us, that we’d hike up all 7! Making it to the top presented us with the clearest pools and a impressive cascading waterfall and the chance to cool off.

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The pools were filled with swarms of fish eager to suck the dead skin from your body and they weren’t particularly small so neither of us stayed in long and opted for the huge rocks perfect for sunbathing instead. Hiking down was a lot easier with cornetto’s to waiting for us at the bottom asking to be eaten.

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Back on the minibus and onto the famous bridge over the River Kwai I wasn’t expecting much and I wasn’t mistaken with lots of market stalls each selling the same tacky goods and an ordinary looking bridge. The film was good and I’ll add it to the growing list of films Ro has yet to see!

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Back to Bangkok and back to our Pad thai lady to fill our tummy’s! As much as we love Bangkok we had missed out on so much sun and beach life since our trip started that we desperately needed to move on.

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