A mini summary since Luang Prabang: We had a full free day in Luang Prabang which is the day I called and spent a ton of time uploading photos. The next day we took songtaos out to a beautiful waterfall where we had a picnic lunch and climbed to the top of the waterfall to swim in the water just above it. The following day we flew into Hanoi and hung out in the Old Quarter until we had dinner at Bar 69 and took our bus to the train station to board the night train to Lao Cai (one hour drive up to Sapa). We got into Sapa at 7 am and had breakfast at the Cat Cat View Hotel while our rooms were made up then packed and rested for our trek up Mt. Fanspian the following day. We had 3 options for our time in Sapa so 8 people decided to stay at the hotel and do a mountain biking day trip, 3 went on an overnight village trek, and 5 of us hiked up Fansipan - 3143 meters. The first day of the trek we hiked 4.5 hours up to camp then hiked 3 hours roundtrip. The trek is pretty much straight up along a ridge with sheer drops on either side and cement bamboo banisters to help haul yourself up and over the huge boulders. I was really close to crying by the time we made the summit - due in large part to the torrential pouring rain which started 5 minutes into the summit trek. I have never been so close to hypothermia in my life - I couldn't feel my toes or fingers! No permanent damage though. The following day we trekked back down to Sapa, showered, packed, and took the night train back to Hanoi. We were picked up by Wide Eyed Tours and drove 5 hours to Halong City where we boarded our private charter "junk" for the 3 day tour. It was super swanky! It was 3 floors: the top deck filled with nice sun chases for hanging out, the middle deck had the dining room/bar/two cabins (including mine and Lauren's), and the lower deck had 7 more cabins plus the kitchen and crew quarters. We spent the next two days cruising around the islands, visiting limestone caves, sea kayaking, and jumping 30 feet off of the roof into the water! Our meals were 10 course feasts and our waiters wore vests and even folded our napkins like on a cruise ship! Yesterday we docked back in Halong City and drove back to Hanoi for the night (we went out for Glen's birthday but couldn't find the club we had in mind so just wandered around town and had dinner and drinks). Today Bobby and I went on a walking tour of the Old Quarter and then I took a taxi to the movie theater/mall to see Eagle Eye - really good! In a few minutes we are headed out to dinner and then to the Water Puppet Theater.

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Author Pacific Discovery Posted