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Published: July 31st 2019
Halong Bay Sunrise
The early morning peace and quiet.
There were a few, distant lightning flashes in the night, but nothing in the league of the storm that hit yesterday morning. The morning started early with a lovely sunrise, which I was the only one on deck to enjoy, along with the peace and quite of the bay.
It wasn’t long before the boat pulled-up its anchor and started to head off to another location, and then it was time for our the early morning Tai Chi. Compared to yesterday, this definitely seemed like the advance class. There were three of us again. This time the guy hosting it was in his proper silk Tai Chi outfit and went through three very complex stages.
My balance is awful, I’ve got no coordination, my joints are inflexible and my knees are shot. I could take up Tai Chi back home, but somehow the inside of a gym in Hemel Hempstead isn’t going to rival the passing scenery of Halong Bay.
We needed to check out of the room, so we spent most of the journey back to Cat Hai on the deck, but in the shade, enjoying the stunning scenery of the bay. It was definitely a lot
Museum of Vietnamese History
American and puppet fascist oppression of Vietnamese patriots. Strong stuff!
hotter than yesterday (yesterday’s storms must have made the day cooler), so once we left the bay and the scenery became more bland and industrial, so we went inside where there was air-conditioning.
We found out back on shore that there is a typhoon due in the next couple of days and they are planning on cancelling all the boat trips. We just timed it right.
We took the “rich people’s road” back to Hanoi. There were still some goats.
We still had the afternoon, so we thought we would try to get to the Museum of Vietnamese History again. Success, rain did not interfere with our plans this time.
The museum is split in two. One ornate and grand, covering the history from prehistoric times up until the 1800s. The other that looked like a bland converted communist office building with inadequate air conditioning, covering the 1900s onwards (well up to 1970s).
The first contained the history of the various dynasties and various foreign invasions or attempted foreign invasions from the Chinese, the Mongolians and other regional powers. The second was mainly a story of various foreign invasions or attempted invasions, from the French,
Restaurant With a View
The view over the Hoan Kiem Lake.
the Japanese, the Americans or other non-regional powers.
There are a lot of artefacts, mainly in the first museum, but the second, particularly, was mainly photographs and documents, which we obviously could not read. The labels explaining what everything was about didn’t mince their words - “French colonists” (relatively tame actually), “Japanese fascists”, “American Imperialists”, “defeated American Empire” and the “Sai Gon puppet president”.
The second museum was the only place we have seen any French translations. They obviously want the French to be able to read what they think of them.
We got chucked out in the end as it closed at 5.00pm and we had run out of time. If the rain hadn’t interfered with our plan last time and we had made it to the museum, we definitely would not have had enough time to look round it property.
We walked back to the Hoan Kiem Lake, which, as it was no longer the weekend, was sadly swarming with mopeds, with all the noise of their horns blasting continuously. We went for a meal at a restaurant that overlooked the lake. Not quite the Halong Bay views, but nice none-the-less.
The area around the lake is no longer closed to traffic.
taxi riders are now starting to seriously wind me up, as every single one (and there are thousands of them) will start shouting every time they see a western face. You are constantly having to reply “No, thank you”, “No, thank you”, “NO, THANK YOU!!”, whilst still dodging all the mopeds.
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