Our plane from Da Lat got us to Hanoi around 3:00 pm. We got ourselves a taxi and made our way to the backpacker hostel in the Old Town District of downtown Hanoi. Jordan and Dylan (McKayla’s brothers) were a few hours behind us so we got ourselves checked in, settled and fed. We’re definitely staying at the party hostel in town but it will be the most convenient for our early departure tomorrow. We leave at 6 am for a 3 day, 2 night trip to Ha Long Bay. The trip is called Castaways, It’s a remote island in Ha Long Bay with a boat tour, tubing and, since Dylan booked it, partying. Can’t say I’m too upset to have a few days of partying with two of my favorite brothers-in-law; should be fun.
Jordan and Dylan showed up a little later than expected, which I guess was to be expected. Unfortunately, they missed the beer pong tournament. Well, Jordan showed up in just enough time to take McKayla’s place on our team but the bearded bozos didn’t make it to the next round despite the amazing team name.
We went out for a brief night on the town to welcome them to SE Asia, catch up and explore Hanoi a little. After a few beers we headed back to the hostel for a game of cribbage and called it an early night. As excited as I was to see these guys, one of the 7 natural wonders of the world awaited us tomorrow. Scratch that, that’s wrong, it’s not one of the 7 wonders, just one more lie told by the people I’m about to describe.
Thankfully, all 4 of us were able to condense our packs down to flash packs and store the rest of our gear at the backpacker hostel. We had a quick breakfast then changed our cash for island tickets. Yup, they did, traded cash for tickets, apparently we’re going to the Dave and Busters of Vietnamese islands. They literally don’t take cash, only tickets, because we’re children and can’t be trusted to make good decisions. More likely they want you to disassociate it with money so you’ll care less about spending it. Clearly, I wasn’t thrilled about this feature, so, when I brought it up at the front desk, the British guy just shrugged his shoulders and said, “yeah, people can be a bit cunty so we don’t want to have a lot of cash on the island.” Hard to argue with that but as long as they were willing to offer the refund on unused tickets upon return, I’ll acquiesce.
After we had our tickets we formed a parade of about 60 other castaways and marched a few blocks through downtown Hanoi to our waiting shuttles. A bus ride, a ferry, another more scenic bus ride then we boarded our boat to our secluded island paradise.
“Cold bia, cold bia!”
Yup, give me four.