Friday, May 12, 2006
Log/ Pics 7 Hanoi/Halong Bay, Vietnam
So we arrived in Hanoi and things appeared to be the same as Saigon-busy, polluted, horns, hassling to buy goods or service. I needed to maybe get away from the city, atleast for awhile. We went to Halong Bay about three-four hours outside of Hanoi. We boarded an old wooden boat with a few cabins below deck, a main deck with some tables for eating or playing cards, and a top deck where I spent 90% of the time enjoying the view of the bay. There were a lot of high rock limestone faces, most covered in green. I slept on the upper deck the first night after cruising for several hours and swimming off a beach.
The next day I went on an intense thre-hour hike up a steep hill along sharp limestone rocks that caused several injuries. It was a beautiful view from atop this mountain, but I think everyone was glad to be done and have suffered no fatalities.
We then cruised the bay and kayaked around Monkey Island. We watched the monkeys from the beach and then from our kayaks. We witnessed them play around the rocks and even in the water. These monkeys were actually going underwater and swimming in the salt water-doggy paddle I believe. I couldn't believe it. We watched them jump off the rocks into the ocean, mate like...monkeys, and even watch them surround some guy who was trying to get a picture. The monkey eventually bit him on the leg. We later talked to the guy and checked out his gash. Anyone know the symptoms of rabies?
We stayed that night at a hotel on Cat Ba Island. A quaint little island with a lot less hassel and many nice people (except for the cute 8 year old who told me to F--- off and that I was going to die because I would not buy a post card from her. But I guess you can get that anywhere huh?
The best thing about this three day excursion was the awesome group we hung with. Sweeden, Canada, Singapore, Maylasia, Switzerland, New Zealand, England and even Philly and Missourri were all represented for some good talks, cards, dining, drinking and just plain getting goofy.