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Vietnam & Dubai by Bethan

We started off by flying with Emirates (they were superb, really comfortable with lots of leg room and a fab entertainment system) from Manchester to Hanoi with a connection in Dubai.

Bethan in Vietnam Once we arrived in Hanoi we checked in to The 5 star Pan Pacific Hanoi (!). The next day we got up nice and early and went out on vintage motorbikes for a tour of the city, our drivers showed us  some amazing sights inaccessible to cars and buses and I loved trying the local food from the street markets. After the motorbike tour we went for a walk through Hanoi’s old quarter where we saw the famous Train street (Google it!) This has a busy railway line running down the middle of a really narrow road. It was pretty surreal to see locals sitting on their doorsteps going about their everyday lives – washing dishes, hanging up laundry, cleaning their motorbikes and even playing with babies, right on the train tracks!

After 2 nights in Hanoi, our next challenge was to experience an amazing cruise around Hạlong Bay, which is known for its turquoise sea and hundreds of rainforest covered Islands. Our first day was spent kayaking followed by a leisurely afternoon chilling on a private beach. The next morning we got up at dawn for a Tai Chi lesson on the top deck during sun rise followed by a guided nature walk through caves. Then after another relaxing night on our cruise it was back to Hanoi for a Vietnamese cookery course hosted by a lovely (Not at all Ramsey like) local chef who taught us to cook some delicious healthy Vietnamese dishes.

Next stop was Dubai where we stayed at the brand new Caesars Bluewaters Dubai for 2 nights. First we had a tour to discover the different areas of the resort venues. They have 3 different parts of the complex – Caesars Palace Hotel, Caesars Resorts and The Residences at Caesars Palace. There is a great choice of restaurants from Japanese, Pan Asian, Mediterranean and Hell’s Kitchen which I can highly recommend! The next day we had a city tour, we visited the Dubai museum & then took a traditional Abra (water taxi) over Dubai Creek to the Deira side to wander through the famous Spice and Gold Souks. On the last night of the trip we had a meal at Cove Beach Club followed by a party to end an amazing trip!

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