#TravelInReality – Week Three

Xin Chao! (aka Hello in Vietnamese) We’re posted up in Hanoi, spending our last few days in Vietnam shopping, eating and exploring. This is the third post of our #TravelInReality series. If you haven’t read the intro, you can go here. Also, you can read last week’s post here.

We will be answering questions about traveling together as a couple – the good, the bad and the ugly. We’ll be writing week-by-week, and this week we traveled from Phong Nha to Hanoi and Halong Bay. If you have any questions you want us to answer, leave a comment below or send us an email!

1.) Where did you travel to this week, where did you stay and how did you get there?

This week we travelled via train for 11 hours from Phong Nha to Hanoi. We took an AWFUL 2 day cruise on Halong Bay. Our first hotel in Hanoi was quite shocking, and we booked out of there after 3 nights. Our second hotel, Hanoi Inn Guesthouse, has been super nice and has a great breakfast.

2.) What was the most challenging part of this week?

KP: HALONG BAY CRUISE. Omg, this was one of the worst travel experiences in my life. First off, we paid a huge amount of money to go on this cruise, because Sam’s family had gone on it 15 years ago and loved it so much. We did nothing we were supposed to do. The boat was falling apart, and the guide and crew left me and Sam stranded at the bus terminal. When we got back from the cruise to tell the owner what had happened, he FILMED us and told us we were liars in front of his entire store. There’s seriously so much more to the story and it gets crazier, but this was the hardest few days of travel we’ve had. Luckily, we didn’t take the frustration out on each other, and I never felt luckier to have Sam by my side travelling.

Sam: Hands down having to deal with the world’s crappiest tour operator in Hanoi. After booking a trip to Halong Bay it seemed to be much more trouble than we could have ever imagined. One thing after the other from a falling apart boat to a tour guide not following the scheduled tour things just got out of control once we asked for a refund.



Hard to be upset with this scenery!


3.) What was the most annoying thing he/she did this week?

KP: Sometimes we get into arguments over where to eat dinner. We tend to wait to go out to eat until we’re both starving, which for me means I’m “hangry.” We always walk down a street, and I’ll point a restaurant out, but he always wants to walk just a little further. This time, we walked literally 20 meters down, and he found a restaurant he wanted to go to that was similar to the one I wanted to go to. We didn’t speak the rest of the meal.

Sam: I have really tried to work out this whole ‘I walk ahead of her thing’ though as Kelly walked ahead of me now on the streets of Hanoi she moved at the speed of a snail. As my stride is double hers I find myself stopping ever two steps to let her get ahead. Quite annoying we have to find a happy medium here.

4.) What three things are you grateful for in your relationship this week?

KP: I can always be myself, even if that’s not always a good thing. He keeps all the money and passports organised and safe, so I don’t have to worry about it. And we always tend to make friends in every situation.

Sam: Friendship, love and adventure.

5.) What was the number one topic that came up the most?

KP: How crazy the tour operator was.

Sam: How can two people travelling experience such bad luck. Honestly over the past 12 months it just seems to be one thing after the other although we seem to find a way to get through it and make the most of a crappy situation.



Sunsets in Halong Bay


6.) What was the best bar or restaurant you went to?

KP: Le Pub in Hanoi. It’s a tiny little red bar on Hang Be, and Sam has been raving about this bar for 3 years.

Sam: The best bar this week by far would have to be the Bia Hoi’s in Hanoi where you can pick up a local beer for 5000 dong which is around 22 US cents. Absolute bargain!

7.) Favourite memory from the week?

KP: Meeting up with friends we knew from the town in Thailand we taught at. It was so nice to see familiar faces and have a few good days with them.

Sam: My favourite memory besides all the negatives would just have to be taking in the serenity of Halong Bay. To sit back with an overpriced beverage in hand and watch the sunset from a timber boat literally falling to pieces will be a memory that I will be sure to keep forever.

8.) If you could tell your partner one thing you wish he/she did differently, what would it be?

KP: I wish he would not talk to me like I’m dumb when I re-ask the same question a few times. Sometimes I forget things!

Sam: Take a deep breathe before getting annoyed because we can’t open the door to our hotel room.


Kayaking in Halong Bay

9.) From 0 to 10, 0 being “I could break up with him/her right now” to 10 being “I could marry him/her right now”, how in love do you feel after this week?

KP: Hanoi has been wildly stressful, and it’s a seriously chaotic city. Sometimes it honestly felt like a 2. After Halong Bay, and seeing the way we handled the tour operator together and overcame the ridiculousness, I would happily say around a 7.5.

Sam: After a week of ups and downs, we’ve managed to be there for one and other in times of frustration and anger so she’s moving up the scale to an 8/10. There’s always still room for improvement… although she is ticking all the boxes.

10.) Fun Fact About Sam/Kelly:

KP: Sam used to model and has been on a bus advertisement 😉

Sam: Kelly makes weird noises in her sleep.

Stay tuned for next week’s post!


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