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running away Traveling south east asia, china, australia, new zealand and america. wherever the mood takes me!

halong bay

VIETNAM | Thursday, 2 October 2008 | Views [753] | Comments [1]

on the boat

on the boat

well what a difference taking a tourist train makes. luxury! we met an isreali couple that were sharing the cabin with us, roy and aan. they were very nice if not a little quiet.

aoife and i had decided to try and get a tour that next morning as we arrived at like half 5 back into hanoi for halong bay. because we heard that another typoon was suppose to hit the north and we wanted to get there before it did. roy and aan decided to do the same thing so we all went back to their hotel where we freshed up and enquired about a trip. 2 days 1 night. we were to sleep on the boat and kayak around the islands.

when we were on the bus we ended up talking to a lovely fun couple from new castle, vicky and craig. they already had gone to cambodia and south vietnam so we were getting loads of tips off them. they are going to work in new zealand as doctors for a year, so planning on visiting them when i go as they are great craic.

on the junk boat we had lunch first, loads of seafood so needless to say i ate alot of rice! we then stopped off on one of the islands to explore acouple of the caves. in the first cave the tour guide came in with us, the cave of surprises, and explain how it was used and discovered. and pointed out the different stalgitites and stalgimites and what shapes they made and what they had called them. from being a dragon to a tiger to a tortoise and one was actually a nipple. ha ha well after that he left us to explore the second cave which wasn't as busy but also quite interesting. 

we never ended up getting to sleep on the boat because they were saying that the water was too rough so because of that they weren't going to let us kayak either. which didn't seem fair. so when we arrived to cat ba island where we were to spend the night, our group were all complaining about not getting to kayak. so to shut us up, our guide eventually decided to bring us kayaking for an hour down to the floating village.

i have to say it was great craic. there was only the 6 of us, me and aoife, vicky and craig, and another older english couple called sandy and romlie. well aoife and i weren't very good at it. we were crap really. the other guys left us in their dust or spray not sure susanne i need help here. it was one of those 2 person kayaks, which are totally different to doing it on our own. aoife was in the back so had to steer and every time we need to go left she would go right and vice a versa. ha ha. but it was so much fun and amazing. we didn't bring our camera as we weren't sure if we would fall in or not but vicky got some, so hope to get them off her.

well craigs smart idea was to go against the wind to start with. so getting back to the dock was a breeze. but turning the kayak and getting into it was a different story. well myself and aoife got stuck under a boat and then we couldn't turn the kayak about to bring it into the dock. if we hadn't had craig and vickys help, as they bumped the back of our boat to turn it, i think we could still be caught out there. we all got motorcycles back to our hotel, were we freshed up for dinner.

when we all arrived downstairs for dinner they tried to split us up to different tables. which didn't make sense, we ended up arguing with the hotel staff till we got our way. roy and aan were with us, and we found out that ray is a vegetarian that doesn't like vegetables. but likes alot of bread. after dinner we went down to one of the bars for a few drinksand vicky made the mistake of asking one of the street vendors where one could get the local beer, bia hoi (fresh beer) cause when she was bringing us over to one of the bars set up out on the harbour. vicky ended being pulled by her arms as 5 different vendors tried to get her to go to their place. quite funny really.

after a couple of drinks headed back to the hotel for a night disturbed by the voice of vietnam blaring over the speakers at 5 o clock in the morning. thats when the ear plugs came out.

that morning we had to say goodbye to vicky and craig as they were staying an extra night while the rest of our group were heading off back to the boat to bring us back to halong city for lunch and then the bus back to hanoi. the juck boat back was fun. sunbathing on the top. we stopped about half way so people could swim. no one was going in. except a german couple to jumped in straight away from the top of the boat and came back up to do it again. i went to jump then after them but i kinda got a little scared as i have never jumped from that high before. so when the german couple came back up i asked them to jump with me, but they said they were finished swimming. typical. so here i was on the edge of a boat about 15 feet from the water trying to gather the courage to jump.

when them german guy saw my face i think he took pity on me. cause he said he would jump with me. which was very sweet. so we jumped together and i don't think i would have done it on my own. i have to say it was very exhilerating, loads of fun. i'm so glad i did. ended up going back up and jumping a second time by myself. although the second time i let go of my nose before i hit the surface and water went all up my nose. not very refreshing. my heart was pumping so fast. aoife didn't jump cause her ankle was still quite swollen from sapa,.she was being sensable.

we boat then heading back to halong city, where we had lunch and back to hanoi for us for one night before we head off to hue.

when we got to hanoi, we were trying to decide on how to get south should we bus or train? we went into a travel agent so presuded us to take the sleeping bus all the way to saigon. it stopped in all the places we wanted to go to and the price was quite reaonable. we also liked the idea of travelling over night as we saved a night accommodation and weren't traveling during the day much. it was all over night trips. so we booked our ticket for the next place and we were stopping in ninh binh for a night before we were to travel onto hue.

so the next day while we were waiting for our bus depart that night. we slept in, did some shopping and decided for our last hour in hanoi we took a cyclo during rush hour for an hour. it was quite fun. bikes everywhere and being cycled down the wrong side of the road. got a good video of it. what better way to say goodbye to hanoi.  

Tags: caves, cyclo, halong bay, junk




cant believe anyone would out paddle you mate! would have thought you would be done for SPEEDING......

  Susanne Oct 7, 2008 6:55 AM

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