Vietnam: Hard to Say Goodbye

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October 20th 2009
Published: October 27th 2009
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Of Mondays & Tuesdays, of 19 & 20th October 2009

"When the morning sunrise
Becomes a magic show
Before your very eyes"

~ Leave Yesterday Behind
The Carpenters (recorded 1978, released 2001)

Heeding the advice from our tour guide, we were wide awake by 4.30am this morning hoping to catch a glimpse of the morning sunshine over Halong Bay. The morning was especially chilly as I was trying very hard to recover from the flu syndrome. Never mind that eventually, we were just not fated to witness the sunny side up of the morning sky.

At least we tried, and at least we managed to catch a glimpse of the glowing sunset the previous evening. It was already a blessing to be able to live in peace for the past 2 days without the hustle of city life. We could live with the minor disappointment and hopefully, this could be a motivation for our future trips to Halong Bay.

At 12pm, our 2 days cruise came to an end as the boat sailed back to reality, to the harbour of Halong City to where we caught the shuttle back to Hanoi. Certainly, Halong Bay would be one of the highlights of the Vietnam trip even though for me, returning back to our cosy home in Hanoi was equally welcoming.

Back to the Hotel for our final night, it was the familiar rooms 302 and 305 and the infectious smiles of Mr Giang and Binh who greeted us.

"So did you enjoy your Halong Bay trip?"

"We really did."

Even though at times, we had to wrestle with some logistics issues which our friend, SS had highlighted in her entry. Certainly, SS had cleverly documented a whole lot more details than I ever did.

Before we said goodbye to our final evening, we made a quick dash to Dong Xuan Market as HQ was tasked to bring home the re-owned lotus seeds from Vietnam. As the sun set for the last time today, it was time for our usual caffeine fix at Cafe Nang at the very heart of the Old Quarter. We celebrated the victory of our Vietnamese expedition at Hapro Bon Mua, a rooftop restaurant serving fusion cuisine offering paranomic views of the Hoan Kiem Lake.

Certainly, the Vietnamese coffee, the nightviews of Hanoi, the Halong Bay cruise and of course, the friendly folks at Hanoi Elegance were something 4 of us would remember for a very long time to come. When it was time for us to leave on the morning of 20th October 2009, it was certainly hard to say goodbye.

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