Train boarded, the kids know the routine, creatures of habit we choose the same beds. Bags tucked under the beds, pyjamas on we all snuggle underneath our thick feather quilts and drift off to sleep as the caboose rocks from side to side.
Woken by loud Vietnamese music blasting into our room, I sit bolt upright, leap out of bed, open the door and switch it off, dive back into bed only to hear the female train conductor cry out oooooooohhhh Noooooooooo and switch it back on again. Apparently this is our alarm clock, music is followed by Vietnamese national anthem and the history of Hanoi in Vietnamese.
Rested we pull on our back packs, step off the train and enter the Hanoi experience once again. We are organised, we stroll past all the touts trying to offer us a lift, hotel room and or tour, we walk 100m up the road to our original Hotel we stayed in. Here we freshen up, book a room for our return visit and order a taxi to our new home which we booked before leaving for Vietnam. Air BnB is something we are not used to so we drive in the dark with only a few photos from the Internet of what we are about to experience. Greeted at the front gate by the host at 5:30am in the morning, we wave goodbye to our taxi driver who didn’t stop smiling and told us that Marley was Hot. Words cannot explain how beautiful this home is, an amazing four storey building with basement pool, deck, massage room and jacuzzi, self contained kitchen and huge TV’s. I don’t want to sound Toffee nosed, but when you travel with money and don’t try and get the cheapest room at a backpackers you really do get a totally different experience. Breakfast consisted of toasted baguettes with pate and home made jams from an Organic farm Homestay we are visiting tonight for NYE, freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee, tea and omelettes. We are told not to be shy and that their home is our home. I can do this! We can do this! Today we don’t need to kick major goals, a simple walk around the lake with the sun on our backs, watching local fisherman, enjoying the views and finding somewhere for lunch is a perfect goal for the day.
Returning back in from our walk the kids have some technology time and Bianca and I go for a full body massage upstairs, stripping down to our undies we both lay down for a 1.5 hr long massage, from head to toe we are in heaven, the little Vietnamese women have such strong hands and work on relaxing every inch of our bodies. More of that is needed.
Relaxed and ready for dinner we join the family and indulge in cold Vietnamese rolls, salmon dip and beef noodle stir fry.
The kids watch a movie while we talk about our lives and taste organic flavoured infused liqueurs from the organic farm, my favourite is the Mandarin and Prune, two of 12 or so, can’t quite remember, lost count. Allen and I share a cigar while taste testing, this is the life. Bellies full and stories told we all say goodnight and retire to the master bedroom. Goodnight.
Please take a look at our photos/Video link: https://www.dropbox.com/sc/39vnekiqyjc4aqz/AAAsuc0DBU4MLXkgxKDRn5B5a