Taiwan and Vietnam


Day 14

Cave tour

We had an extra early start this morning as we had to get on the transport boat at 7am to get to the cave. They had Tai chi on the deck and then a light breakfast from 6:30am but we decided to skip it as there would be a buffet brunch at 9:15am. Rob did both so good on him!

We arrived at the cave early but even still there were quite a few tourist groups. There were about 200 steps to get up into the cave but nothing major. Apparently the cave use to have people living in it but due to the typhoon risks that could cause flooding the government moved them to the mainland and now this is a tourist attraction. We walked around and explored the cave which were forming stelatites, although due to tourists stepping on it they were stopping the growth. So they put their own rock barrier to try to prevent people from stepping on it.

After the cave we made it down to the sand beach near the cave and just chilled for a little and enjoyed the view. No swimming was allowed but it was so early I don’t think anyone would have. Within the hour the amount of tourists had increased by a lot. We got back on the transport boat and were back on the big boat by 8:15am.

Breakfast and check-out

We had about 1 hour to chill and pack in our room before check out. We decided to make the most of our balcony and the amazing view before heading back to crazy Hanoi. I had a tea and sat and watched the world pass me by and before long we had to leave our luggage outside of our room and head up for the breakfast buffet. It was similar to yesterday but we decided to eat more this time as we would be skipping lunch and be on a bus back to Hanoi over that time. We all had pho and I also had an omelette. Then we settled our bill and before long saw the city of Hanoi from the boat.

Back to Hanoi

We had about 45 minutes to wait for our shuttle bus to arrive so waited in the same area we got onto the boat for the cruise. We wanted to take a picture with Thomas and Tommy our cruise manager as he was so sweet. We took a couple of shots and then caught up on everything as we had data!

Once the shuttle bus arrived we made sure our luggage was safely in the bus and then hopped on ready for the 3 hour commute back to Hanoi. I was pretty tired so had a nap but it was a quite relaxing ride back.


When we arrived back to the hotel we decided to freshen up and grab dinner later. Rob, Anth and Amy decided to go earlier as they wanted to buy shoes from the shoe street. We left a little later and decided to meet at the restaurant. However we bumped into them halfway and followed them to shoe street where we also bought shoes for Rob (Steve’s brother) after calling him in Melbourne and seeing if he was keen. It was a busy affair but we came out with 2 pairs of shoes between the group!

Bun Cha Huong Lien (the Obama restaurant)

Getting caught up in all the shopping we almost forgot dinner! We quickly wrapped up the shopping and walked through the park by the lake into what seemed like a richer fancy hotel area and finally to the Bun Cha restaurant Obama went with Bourdain. Luckily we didn’t have to wait. We were told to go to level 4 and on the way passed level 3 where Obama had dinner with Bourdain. They had put the table in a glass box as a momentum forever.

We ordered Bun Cha and the crab roll each. It was pretty tasty as we were all hungry. Bun Cha is a sweet pork soup that you can add the vermicelli into and herbs as you eat. The crab roll was a big spring roll with crab, prawn and pork and it was pretty delicious. I found the bun Cha broth a bit sweet and not as hot as I would have liked it but it was tasty all the same!

Second dinner

After dinner Amy was feeling a bit dizzy so we decided to take a grab to this recommended egg coffee place that the vloggers she follows had. The cafe had tiny seats but we gave it a go. Rob and Anth got the egg coffee which looked like frothy coffee and quite thick. They said it just tasted really eggy and it didn’t look easy to drink as you had to use the spoon to drink the froth. Good experience either way and a good way to experience those cafes that have tiny seats!

After this Amy wanted to have banh mi 25 one more time before heading off tomorrow. So we ventured over there and there was a line! They put in their order and we waited about 15 minutes or so and by that time we were all pretty tired. When they got the order we decided to walk and eat. Steve and I didn’t get a banh mi but did get some Meiji chocolate from the convenience store for a little snack.

We made it to the hotel and it was about 9:15pm by then. We said our goodbyes as they were heading to Taiwan tomorrow and we were heading home.