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Winter Christmas in Hanoi 2017 - Day 3 - Sapa - Hanoi

Read all about Day 1 and Day 2 here!


Just because we wanted to save up on our accommodation, 
we decided to went for one without breakfast. 
Another reason for this was because we really wanted to enjoy as much food as we could during our 2D1N stay here in Sapa. 

So we went to Le Gecko Cafe
which we had visited twice the day before, 
once for tea time, another for late night dessert. 
Le Gecko Cafe is definitely the poshest, nicest cafe in Sapa. 
Not only did the staff able to speak proper English, 
they were also clad in really proper uniform, just as what you'd expect from a proper hotel.

Le Gekco Cafe definitely deserves a brownie point from me for the fact that
they provided soy replacement as an option for dairy intolerant people like myself. 

While you'd expect to pay for bills which cost an arm or a leg dining at such a refined place, 
this place was actually incredibly affordable. 
That's why we could visit them thrice in 2 days without draining our Vietnam Dong. 

Thick and frothy Soy Mocha was my absolute go-to. 





After breakfast, we made our way to the Stone Church again to witness its beauty. 

Each and every corner of this church made for great photo spots! 











After taking enough photos at the church, we followed the crowd to what seemed like a quaint street behind the church and stumbled upon a whole new world! 

Be enticed by the cute cottages neatly as you climb the staircase leading up to a hilltop vantage point of the entire Sapa in a bird's view.
You will also be distracted by the stalls right by the side selling unique handcrafted souvenirs or a variety of nuts! 


An entrance ticket is required upon entry to the Ham Rong botanical garden.




It was an easy hike up the mountain thanks to the brick pavements all the way up. 
You will hardly feel the exhaustion as you will be greeted with a gorgeous view of flowers of unique species along the hike. 
















We would have definitely gone up further if we weren't short of time. 
I'd highly recommend you to spend a day exploring this beautiful garden, perhaps catch a romantic sunset and be mesmerised by the golden hour filter covering the whole of Sapa.

After spending a good hour or so in the botanical garden, we'd decided to head back to Thang Co A Quynh restaurant to savour the delicious soup for one last time before heading back to Hanoi for the rest of the trip. 



This time we ordered Salmon and I must say it wasn't the wisest choice, 
especially not if you're not a fan of fumbling with countless bones while you eat.


For those who are wondering, Thang Co has been the staple food for the Hmoong people for hundreds of years. 
With seasonings comprises of 12 spices including cardamon, ginger, citronella, anise, cinnamon twig and more, it is no wonder the horse stew packed so much flavour. 





I took a photo with the staff who already recognised us from our frequent patronage over the 2 days. LOL. 

After our lunch, we headed back to our hotel to refresh and pack before heading to the bus station, which our hotel owner has kindly booked for us beforehand. 
The helpful hotel staff also helped us to get a taxi to the bus station which saved us from any possibilities of miscommunication. 

The bus station was jam-packed with people who were also leaving Sapa. 
It was difficult to keep calm when everyone was acting so aggressive and selfish. 
We eventually boarded the bus and settled on the upper deck, which was not the comfiest, 
especially for D who has a larger frame. 

Those who suffer from horrible motion-sickness should take precaution. 
The whole journey was very puke-inducing and we just forced ourselves to sleep. 

A few hours later, we arrived in Hanoi where the bus dropped us at the Old Quarters
For us it was an ideal place to disembrark as it was just minutes of walks away from our stay in Hanoi

We checked-into our hotel at the Royal Guest House Hanoi on Christmas eve and the staff surprised us with a Christmas card and a Christmas cake! 
It was such a sweet gesture! 

We explored the buzzling town at midnight and countdown to Christmas with the crowd before calling it a day! 

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