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Published: January 8th 2014
My friend and I were dreaming of going on a cruise together and so when the opportunity to travel to see the Halong Bay came through, we grabbed it with both hands. We started off in classy Singapore airlines on the first day of the year. I watched a lovely historical Chinese movie called 'Face Reader' with all the thrills and drama of the Chinese court. We landed in Hanoi and it was lovely to feel the slight chill after hot Singapore. We immediately set off to see the Ho Chin Minh mausoleum and the Ethnology museum. I was lost as I admired the 53 different ethnicities in a country like Vietnam. I am too scared to think of the same in huge countries like China and India! We had some street food of baguettes, sausages and hot sweet potato.
The next day, we were picked up early to be taken to the Halong Bay which is 3 hours drive. The bay was spectacular with huge islands of limestone rocks spread in the sea. The cruise was very smooth, rooms of excellent standards and food surpassed my imagination. I loved the steamed basa fish delicately spiced and wrapped in leaves,
the yummy prawns and the chicken satay.
We went kayaking and rowing through the gaps in the islands was such an exhilarating experience! The seascape was just beautiful. We visited a floating village, a pearl culture farm and some magnificient limestones caves. The latter were well lit with amazing rock formations. Perhaps, the only things missing were the ghosts. The weather was slightly cloudy but the sea was smooth as silk.
When we returned, we had to board Silkair airlines and so all my plans to see a good movie went straight to dust. Anyhow, it was good opportunity to talk about our trip only to listen to complaints from a passenger who sat just in front of me that she was trying to sleep. I politely asked her to arrange for ear plugs. If there were infants screaming their heads off in the flight, would she have said the same thing? Sometimes, I think people are very intolerant and need to see the world to adjust and share the excitement of living together.
This was my mint fresh start to the new year!
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