In the Old Quater of Hanoi, there's a lot of backpacker hotels. We'd been reading through the internet's reviews and there were many unreliable comments posted on. Finally we booked Hanoi Orchid Hotel. They charged us USD20 per room.
Not all the rooms are under very good condition but some because some with painting smelt or wet smelt. If staying near the street with balcony, it's a bit noisy.
Well, most old hotels do not have lift. We had to walk up by stairs like this:
After traveling around Hanoi for 2D1N, we refreshed ourself and left our bags there to catch a night train from Hanoi train station to Lao Cai station.
We'd the soft sleeper AC cabin with 4 beds. HuiYing & Shaz were sharing with other 2 foreigners in another cabin. Our cabin initially was very hot as the AC hadn't been cooled up because the train was not moving yet.
After overnight in the train for 8 hours, we reached Lao Cai station at 4:30am but the sky was already very bright. We couldn't get enough sleeps as the train cabin was quite shaky. Sapa tour guide, Duong, came over to meet us and brought us to Sapa. After 5 hours of muddy trekking, we reached Tavan home stay. The home stay wasn't that poor condition as we expected. It has western toilet with tiles and it's clean, better than my home town.
This is our host, Soi. She's preparing some tea time food for us.
Our beds at upstairs. No air-con or fan was required because the weather in Sapa is cool enough eventhough it's summer now. We had a good sleep after Soi offered us pretty glasses of rice wine during the night party with the people in the villages.
A group photo with Soi and her hubby, Sao.
We left Sapa and took the night train back to Hanoi to catch another trip in the next morning - Halong bay.
This is our deluxe cabin in Halong Phoenix Cruiser. The air-con will only be powered on at night to save energy on the boat. However, the air-con in my room was dropping water in the mid night.
Each cabin was attached with own bathroom.
The next afternoon, we were back to Hanoi Orchid Hotel to collect our bags and had the last night before leaving to Noi Bai airport.