Hong Kong and Vietnam holiday

So just over a month ago I went to Hong Kong and Vietnam on a family holiday. The main part of the holiday was a Royal Caribbean cruise which departed from Hong Kong and stopped off at a couple places in Vietnam. To make the most of the holiday, I got to Hong Kong a few days earlier.

I made a short video of the holiday so if you don’t want to read the rest of this post and look at the photos, you can get a taste of the holiday in the video:

YouTube player

I have been to Hong Kong 2-3 times before so done the normal “tourist” things. Although I did visit The Peak which I have been few times but thats one of my favourite things in Hong Kong. Only visited during the day – my favourite time is at night (or at least when it starts to get darker) as I like skylines (and scenery generally) when its at night. Apart from that, mostly eating food – some of that in the photos below.

And although I am not bothered about shopping and shopping centres, did wander around a few including the Langham Place one – which was next to our hotel. Near the top floor they have a Lego store and a big model all made out of Lego of Langham Place itself.

I also went to Sky100 which is an observation deck. Not sure when I last visited Hong Kong but had never been before. It was completed in 2010. It is located on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre (ICC). Most of the building is offices I think. The actual observation deck is located below The Ritz-Carlton hotel – which may be the tallest hotel in the World. It certainly was when the ICC was built.

Unfortunately when we went, the weather was a bit foggy/misty so the view wasn’t the best. Still can see pretty much all of Hong Kong. And I managed to get a few good Instagram-worthy photos – so all worth it šŸ˜‰

Also checked out the wet market that was near the hotel. I like visiting places like markets in different countries because you see all sort of different things – sights and smells.

After a few days in Hong Kong, it was time to get on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

I have been on about 3 cruises in total – this being about my 4th one. I actually had been on a Royal Caribbean cruise before probably about 10+ years ago.

The first place to check out after boarding the ship, was the main buffet eating area. It was really busy – which was a bit of a continuing theme during the whole cruise – and also the food was not that good. (Another theme of the cruise!). People were surprised about how they were big queues – I think it was because they were not as many eating places as other cruises – and people eating all at the same time.

One thing I did like was that they forced people to wash their hands before entering the eating area. (And every eating/drink area on the ship they had self dispensing hand sanitizer Purell.

While on the ship, I checked out a couple shows – which were pretty good. Although its not really my thing watching live shows. I tried some different food around the ship including Chinese hot pot, sushi and steak. Chinese hot pot wasn’t that good unfortunately, sushi was good to be fair. The steak – unfortunately we went on the day when I was not feeling well so unfair to judge it.

On the ship, there was as a “robot bartender”. You swipe your card into a iPad type device, choose your drink (either find a drink you want or make your own with mixture of alcohol, mixes etc. I used it a couple times but the area was mostly popular with people just watching the robot. First time I did it, I did it wrong and just added one measure of rum. Second time, I actually had a punch. There was a punch on the menu with all the different ingredients lists which I just made manually – and it cost less. Tasted pretty good. I was lucky though as I saw the robot making other peoples drinks and liquid going everywhere including the floor. I think there was a person employed just to wipe up after the robot!

However, the actual important thing about the cruise was actually visiting different places. We went to Hoi An and Nha Trang in Vietnam. I really like Vietnam – although its VERY warm and humid. It was especially in Hoi An when felt like I was melting! Hoi An was about 1.5 hours from the port so we had about 3-4 hours actually in Hoi An – in the Old Town area. It would have been nicer to spend longer and especially at night. We ate some food in a restaurant and got lots of different plates. And almost the best thing was the air con in the restaurant!

The other place in Vietnam we went to was Nha Trang. The main town (or city?) was much closer to the port. And we also went to theĀ Ponagar Tower temple which I think was pretty much the top “attraction” to visit. Nha Trang is famous for its seafood so we went to a seafood restaurant and it was delicious. So fresh. It was literally swimming minutes before we ate. The highlight for me were the prawns much were the best prawns I’ve ever eaten. The seafood fried rice was also really delicious but it was all good! The kitchen was outside so guess you can call it street food!

I was a bit surprised by Nha Trang as I didn’t expect as many fairly tall buildings. And there was lots of construction work going out. Apart from the temple and the seafood restaurant, we checked out a church (well the outside as it was closed!) and also a market which was full of dried seafood – I personally love all that stuff. Like the dried shrimp, dried scallops etc. Mmmmmm.

But like Hoi An, wish could have been there longer than few hours and it being more relaxing and see more. But thats the pros and cons of a cruise. You get to see more than one place but not there for long. But now I know I want to properly go to Vietnam for at least a week.

My holiday was about a week before I did the Great Manchester Run so I thought I better at least go to the gym at least couple times while on the ship. Always a nice view when you’re on the treadmill. One evening, I went to gym so could see us sail away from Nha Trang. I could see Vin Pearl in the distance – which is a resort place on an island, built by some billionaire.

Also, had a run around the ship on the running track – say some people going into the North Star – a pod you get in which raises 300ft above sea level!


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