Published: December 13th 2007December 13th 2007
Evening in Halong Bay
Some of the boats and islands of Halong Bay. On the left is a little fishing village that floats on the water.
We've been speeding though Vietnam in hopes of meeting up with Katie and Mark as soon as possible. after Hanoi we went to Halong Bay, on the northern coast of Vietnam. It was absolutely gorgeous, but way too touristy. There are karst formations all over the bay, making up 1,969 islands. Some are huge with little caves you can explore and some are so small that they look more like big rocks. We got to go to another destroyed cave, this time with neon lights showing off the cave. We slept on our boat the first night, as did most people, so it was great waking up in a bay... until the rowboat salesladies row up to you and start trying to sell you crap at 8 am. Besides them and the insane amount of tourist boats around, it was great. The kayaking and trekking definitely made the trip worthwhile.
We went back to Hanoi for a night where we found a great hotel with a really nice staff. One of the managers has family in Chicago, so he had me write his Christmas cards for him. This was fine and all until he asked me to writes him other
The views from our little climb/hike on Monkey Island in Halong Bay. Yes, there were actually some monkeys here! The best part of our hike is that there was no path. Just tons of rocks you have to climb up, over and through. There were even ropes at the steep parts to help you along. At the top you could see both sides of the island. It was unreal!
cards in Vietnamese because he liked my handwriting. That was quite a joke, but it somehow worked. We went to Hue for the afternoon the next day. There's not much in Hue other than historical sites and a river. We went to the citadel after escaping the cyclo drives trying to sell us a tour of the city. It was a great stop for the day, but we got on a bus that evening to get to Hoi An.
Hoi An is a relaxing break for the chaos of Hanoi. There are no cars in the old center of town, so you only have motorbikes to worry about. The specialty here is a dish called cao lau (noodles with greens and slices of meat) that can be found on every street corner, as well as cloth shops. This town is known for its tailors. You go into one of the 200 or so cloth shops, choose a cut and fabric, get measured, and pick up your clothes the next day. Mine are currently in the process of being re-fitted, so hopefully in 2 hours I will have a new mini wardrobe! Hoi An also has a beautiful and really
Our historical stop on our way to southern Vietnam. This is the old Citadel in Hue.
warm beach 3 km away. After getting our clothes sorted out and meeting up with people we knew from traveling, me and Matt got on motorbike taxis and went to the beach for the day. The sunshine and warm water was just what I needed! Although it's strange that the beach has more travelers than locals laying out. It was still great and I now officially love this little town.
There are more photos below