After we spent Christmas day wandering around Hanoi we made our way later that evening to the luxury overnight train up to Lao Cai- the province in the northern corner of Vietnam. It was a great little room that we had to ourselves, with some extra snacks for us to enjoy on the trip.
The only problem with the overnight train ride is that we pull into the station just after 05:00 and are then off for a quick day of touring. First stop, after a few hours of driving through the hills, is a giant market in Lao Cai that is mostly Flower Hmong minorities.
We spent a few hours wandering around the market before we finally left and we then headed up to the border crossing with China.
There was a lot of movement of goods back and forth across the bridge, a quick box lunch at a small restaurant, and then back into the car for a few more hours of driving through the beautiful scenery to another small town where we were doing our home stay.
The house where we were staying was fairly simple, but the hotel that it was paired up with pretty much brings and sets up an entire hotel room for you to enjoy.
It was a fully day, we got to see a great sunset as we were driving back to the home stay, stopping at a small restaurant for dinner and then heading to bed fairly early after a few quick games of Scrabble.