Had another early morning text from Dad. They arrived at Hanoi at 5.30 am. Took a bus to the hotel. They are now at the Thien Thai, which is apparently the best boutique hotel in Hanoi. Not actually sure what a boutique hotel is ... but it sounds impressive and the blurb reads "With its French-inspired architecture and sensually rich decor, the Thien Thai Hotel will seduce and pamper you, allow you to indulge your senses". They've not had much time for seducing, pampering or indulging as no sooner had they arrived they were off again to Ha long Bay were they have caught a boat for an overnight stay. Dad said food and weather were great ! Ha long Bay is a World Heritage site and features thousands of limestone karsts.
Found this photo of the bay and the karsts. I'm sure Dad will forgo a couple of days on the bike to be cruising around these !
Details of the itinerary from Exodus
Day 12 (Day 13 Ex London) Hanoi to Halong Bay and cruise
We usually arrive in Hanoi in the early morning and stop for a local breakfast and a stretch of the legs, before we are met by our bus for an approximately 4 hour drive to Halong Bay. This is one of the most stunningly beautiful sights in South East Asia with around 3000 limestone peaks rising directly from the clear emerald sea. We cruise amongst this amazing karst scenery, stopping to swim and kayak in the sea, allowing us to get to places inaccessible by boat (weather permitting) and enjoy a seafood lunch on board.