Ninh Binh is about 100 km south of Hanoi, it´s called Ha Long Bay on land, since it has the same karts landscape as Ha Long Bay! I left Cat Ba town by express bus at 10:30 and arrived in Ninh Binh at 15:00 in the afternoon. I had chosen to stay at Vancouver hotel in Ninh Binh, but the express bus went to Tam Coc first a tourist place about ten kilometers outside Ninh Binh. The bus driver drove into Ninh Binh with only one passenger it was me. One needs to consider where to stay in Ninh Binh town or at a home stay at Tam Coc River?
I visited Cat Ba and Lan Ha bay for six days. I stayed three days in Cat Ba town and the remaining days at Xinh floating house in Lan Ha bay. I left Hanoi at 11:00 by Cat Ba Express bus to Cat Ba town. The journey took about three and a half hours with a short fifteen minutes break for lunch at 12:00 between Hanoi and Hai Phong. I paid 26 US Dollar for the express bus and the speedboat journey.
I visited Hanoi during April and May, staying in a hotel in the old quarters. The Old Quarters are a busy place in Hanoi! If you opt for a more tranquil part of the city the French Quarters might suits you better? It´s very interesting to walk around the Old Quarters, but you will quite easily get lost in the myriads of narrow alleys, in between the bigger streets. However getting lost is part of the fun and also necessary to see some of hidden family life of the narrow alleys in Hanoi.
Waterton National Park was my last visit in Canadian Rocky Mountains. This is the most southern national park bordering the Glacier National Park in Montana United States. My main goals were walking the Crypt Lake trail and see the famous Price of Wales hotel fantastic setting at Upper Waterton Lake.
In Southern British Columbia is a nice old traditional town called Nelson. I spent three nights here in the fantastic Hostel Dancing Bear Inn. Nelson is famous from several Hollywood films since the old houses are back drop in them. The Steve Martin comedy Roxanne and Magic in the water are filmed here!
I Stayed overnight in Langley so my choice was the Tsawwassen to Swartzs Bay with BC Ferries. Tsawassen is located southwest of Vancouver and far easier to reach than the Horseshoe bay ferries north of Vancouver. The morning traffic jam on the high way one around Vancouver is considerable so it was best to avoid Horseshoe bay. I did also want to see Victoria the former Capital of British Columbia!
Fort Langley is the birth place of British Columbia but also the reason British Columbia is Canadian and not belongs to United States. Since I was staying in Langley I had only a couple of km to the fantastic Fort Langley National historic site. This National historic site is well worth a visit even if you are staying in Vancouver downtown area about 50 km away.
I stayed for three nights in Vancouver area in Canada Best Value Inn in Langley! The hotel was very good but it was a long driving time with car into Vancouver downtown area! Most hotels in central Vancouver was booked up several weeks before my visit in Vancouver due to Canada day celebration and other important holidays in Canada the same week.
Shuswap Lake is fantastic water system on the Kamloops Plateau before the start of the Canadian desert. I was travelling from Jasper towards Vancouver and needed a couple of stops on the way! One stop was Shuswap Lake and the other more unusual forced stop was Cache creek in the middle of the Canadian desert.
It was time to leave Banff and travel north to Jasper National Park. After Lake Louise Highway of Heroes (Trans Canada 1) turns west and continues up in the mountains to the famous railway spiral tunnels at Kicking Horse pass. I travelled north on Highway 93 Icefields Parkway of many considered the most beautiful Highway of the world.