As I wrote in my previous post, I’ve got an amazing surprise flight at the end of the last month, beginning of this one. People are bidding to get this flight (it is a knew Emirates destination and the layover is about 30 hours long) but I was lucky enough to get it without asking. I had home standby from 9pm and the flight already appeared in my roster around 8:30pm. The departure was pretty early (or late?), around 3-4 am but I don’t exactly remember, so I only had few hours to rest. Needless to say, I couldn’t sleep at all, but I was happy and excited. The crew was pretty good, with 2 guys in economy which I believe gives a good balance for the team. Don’t get me wrong, I am also effective working only with females, but sometimes it can be a little bit (I don’t know how to describe) tiring to work with your same gender. I think this is the same with all kind of jobs. Anyways :).
We had a transit in Myanmar (Burma) and from there the flight only took 40 minutes to Hanoi, Vietnam. We arrived early evening, the drive to the hotel was a little bit long as it is located in the middle of the city. Very nice and beautiful rooms we got, I really love all the Asian hotels we stay in. One of the local crew suggested us to visit a nearby restaurant to try the traditional cuisine. I was extremely tired but I felt like going out so I joined the crew. The place was only 10 minutes away on foot but unfortunately it was a big disappointment. Only one or two members of the staff spoke a little bit of English but it was not enough to explain the menu for us. They said it is enough to order few dishes then we could share as the portions are big enough. So this is what we did, we randomly picked few meals but the size of the dishes were very far from big. Most of the food had unusual taste, some of them were nice but some are not so nice, at least for my taste. Me and one guy decided to go back to the hotel as we were both unsatisfied and still hungry. We went for buffett dinner which was absolutely amazing. I asked the staff for traditional tea, and they served a very strong green tea for me. The waiter said I would not be able to sleep after but I ensured him I would as I had been awake for more than 24 hours. It was strong indeed and a little bit bitter but I really enjoyed it. After a long time, it was the first time when I “felt the soul of the tea”. Tea lovers and experts will understand what I mean :).
In the meanwhile another crew member who was still in the restaurant texted me that they were able to book the tour for the next day to Halong Bay. Meeting around 4:30am in the lobby :’D. I went to the bed around 9pm (local time) so I was able to wake up early and I even washed my hair.We all took a pillow from the hotel room to get ready for the early morning four hours long drive. It was (obviously) still dark outside but it got gradually brighter and lighter. The sunrise was beautiful. We had a small, private boat witing for us which was very comfortable. Halong Bay is one of the seven wonders of nature and it was easy to understand why. Thousands of island and caves, this is what it is. Unfortunately most of the time the weather was cloudy so the whole landscape was grey but still amazing. We went to see the biggest cave of the bay, which was kind of stalactite but not growing anymore. I don’t know how to describe in English on a better way. It was nice but not too impressive for me. We have a lot bigger one in Hungary which is still growing (Aggtelek) so this one could only be the “small sister” of our cave in Hungary :).
The best part of the tour was kayaking. It was the first time for me but I think was not too bed. I was in pair with the first officer, sometimes his paddling was so powerful, I was afraid we would have an encounter with another kayak or a rock and we would capsize. The landscape was so magical, we went through a short cave to a totally closed and hidden bay, it was more beautiful than anything similar I have seen before.
When the kayaking was over, we went back to the boat and shortly we had a nice seafood lunch. The meal was nice but I had stomach ache but apparently I was the only one from the team. The boat trip took approximately 3-4 hours, then we had a drive back to the hotel. This time I was managed to sleep a little bit so it didn’t seem too long for me.
We got back to the hotel four hours before the wake up call. I ordered salad and coke for my stomach and I had two hours deep sleep. The flight back was easier as the load was not too full and again, the team was pretty good.
That’s all about my Vietnamese trip, I hope you enjoyed my post. Have a great day everybody.
IMPORTANT NOTE: MY POSTS ARE MY PERSONAL VIEWS. THEY DO NOT REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF MY COMPANY.