I was in no rush to get to South East Asia and though I love to travel I did not think I would have the opportunity to get out there so soon. Two of my close friends had been planning a big excursion throughout Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia but I decided against it mainly because I was finishing college and not sure what I was doing for this coming year. However when I found myself working full time in a job I hated and making a lot of money that I did not know what to do with, my pal Bebhinn and I decided to join the girls over there for the Vietnam and Cambodia legs of their trip. I can tell you it was the best decision I ever made.
We flew into Hanoi in Vietnam via Paris and Kuala Lumpur. It took us the full 24 hours to get out there. I was still suffering from illness having gone hard at Longitude festival the four days before I left. For this reason when I arrived in Hanoi, I was overwhelmed with the heat, the crowds and trying to plan our next move. Following a good sleep I was rearing to go and we went straight on the Halong Bay Booze Cruise. Halong Bay is an amazing natural landscape that we were able to kayak through and experience the full extent of its amazing caves and cliffs. We spent the first night on a boat and then sailed to our own private beach island with about 100 other people. We got to spend all day in the sea, go tubing, drink all night, sleep in open style huts on the beach as well as go for a swim at night with glittering plankton. It was truly a phenomenal experience.
Straight after we spent a night in Phong Na, home to a National Park. On our tour we visited two caves, the highlight of which was Dark Cave where unbeknowst to us we found ourselves wading up to our necks in mud before washing off in the coolest, freshest water I have ever experienced. It was truly amazing.
The following pictures were taken in Hue, once the administrative capital of Vietnam and home to the Vietnamese Monarch up until the Vietnam War. These pictures were taken in the former Palace of the Monarch.