How awesome are our friend for getting married in Halong Bay?! It’s such a beautiful spot, and we were so happy to be able to go and watch our friends hitched. The wedding party started with everyone meeting up in Hanoi in for a couple of nights before heading up to Halong Bay.
If you’ve read my other Vietnam blog posts, you’ll already know much I love Hanoi (& how obsessed I am with Vietnamese coffee)! This time we all stayed in a little hotel called Silk Path Boutique Hanoi on the opposite side of Hoan Kiem Lake from the Old Quarter. It was such a great location, an easy walk to Old Quarter, but a little more chilled out. The bride and groom were super organised and had arranged for everyone to meet up for dinner and drinks on the first night at an awesome restaurant, Laca, pretty near the hotel.
The next day, most of us joined up for a street food walking tour. It was such a great idea for everyone to hang out and get know the other guests and all of the food was AMAZING. At just $20 per person, and a great way to get to know the old quarter, I would absolutely recommend checking it out – http://www.hanoistreetfoodtour.com. That evening we all met up again for a little pre-wedding party at IFeel Cafe, which is a roof top bar in the Old Quarter, overlooking the lake. It was such a great night!
Then the big day arrived! We were all travelling up to Halong Bay in a couple of buses. It was a hectic morning trying to get everyone organised, picked up, and on the buses, but soon enough we were all on the way and a few hours later, we were in Halong Bay and on our way to the boat! Once on the boat, we had lunch and then got wedding-ready as we cruised through the beautiful islands of Halong Bay.
The wedding was on the roof of the boat and the decorations were stunning. After the ceremony, the bridal party headed off for photos and the rest of us got in little boats and went to one of the islands for cocktails before the dinner. This was all at sunset, so it was just beautiful. Back on the boat we had dinner, speeches and LOTS of dancing! The whole day was incredible and we were so happy to have been able to celebrate such a great day with our friends.
The next morning, as we all had breakfast and tried to recover from our hangovers, the boat cruised us back to meet the buses, and around lunchtime, we headed back towards Hanoi.
We had decided to stay on in Hanoi for a couple more nights after the wedding, and had really wanted to stay in the same place as we’d stayed on our previous trip here a couple of years ago (Oriental Central Hotel), but unfortunately they were totally booked out! Thankfully, since our last trip, they had opened another hotel just around the corner, so we booked that one (Oriental Suites Hotel & Spa) and it was just as amazing, if not better! This one even had a little rooftop area where we could hang out, have a drink, and check out the view. We didn’t have time to check out the Spa on site, but it looked so nice.
We spent our last couple of days in Hanoi wandering the Old Quarter and enjoying all of the amazing food! One of our highlights was getting Banh Mi from the greatest little spot, Banh Mi 25. If you’re in Hanoi, you have to go and check it out! It’s just a tiny little place, and you can enjoy your Banh Mi while sitting on little plastic stools in the street.
Heading home to Perth, we had used our Virgin Velocity points to get our flight home for free through Singapore Airlines. It was so great to fly with them over the Air Asia flights on the way there!