Hi everyone, I'm still alive and still in Vietnam; just catching up on some blogging from my hotel room in Danang. Thanks for the emails and comments I've had recently, always chuffed when people react to the shite I write!
So, Halong Bay, a beautiful bay full of thousands of mountainous limestone karsts that jut out of the sea making for some beautiful scenery and worthy of its UNESCO World Heritage award. Problem is, no matter how nice it is the scrum that accompanies the competition to get our sorry Western arses there is a little off-putting. It’s well on the tourist route in Vietnam and it seems every restaurant, hotel and travel agency offers a tour package there. Yep, that’s right, a package, always includes a trip on a junk, a stay overnight on the junk in the bay and usually another day trekking on Cat Ba island. Well, package tours made me wanna not do it to be honest. However, doing it independently is a significant amount of work and you’re gonna meet the same scrum trying to get your dollar. So, not with any excitement I decided to go, but there are so
many tours on offer
at varying prices I had to look online to see what the deal was: what I found was the essentially the more you pay the better the time you have, be in the quality of the junk, the food and the time spent.
I got myself to Vega Travel, a reputable company in Hanoi and ordered a two day trip to Halong Bay, and not the extra day trekking (I’ve actually had enough of this in hot and humid countries, I’m actually more interested in walks in English countryside these days, say the Cotswolds - I’m getting old). I got picked up from my guesthouse in Hanoi and taken by Ford Transit van to Halong Bay, about a two hour drive. I won’t go into anything more about the trip because the pictures speak for themselves, but it was me and two couples from Germany and France, really nice friendly people. As a side note/thought/sermon the longer I travel the more fellow European travellers I meet who are thoroughly good eggs, no German arseholes with a towel on a beach fetish, nor any grumpy Frogs who refuse to sepak ze English in sight. It's been awesome really
and has made me rather hopeful about our collective future together in Europe. I don't think they'll be any more wars with people I've been meeting being around, it may well be the lingua franca
of English that's making us all get along and to understand ech other. Regardless, I've met some really nice people. Amen.
On the First day we went to some cave called Surprise Cave, discovered by the French and then did some kayaking in a lagoon with a mental echo sound system. He night we spent on the junk was pretty cool, the food was mainly fish based which wasn’t to my taste but it was a pretty cool trip and I don’t think I needed an extra day trekking. Anyway, here are some pictures…
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