BootsnAll Travel Network

Halong Bay, Vietnam

I was under a bit of a timeline as I needed to be out of Vietnam by the 30th. I had already gotten a visa extension so I really had to get out. While doing my shopping in Hanoi I had to figure out what I was going to do. Originally I was going to go to Halong Bay before Hanoi but with the dead camera and not sure about how much time it was going to take to do the northern circuit I just went directly to Hanoi. After expediently getting Sasha fine tuned and my shopping done I calculated that it would be possible to go back to Halong Bay for a couple of days and still have plenty of time for the northern circuit. Another factor was that Halong Bay is probably the premier attraction in the area and with all the posters and ads for boat trips it made it seem like it would be a major miss if I didn’t at least check it out.

Halong Bay is about a four hour drive away so it wasn’t a huge set back. I was shocked at how smooth the bike was riding after a morning at Cuongs shop. At first I figured the roughness to the bike was due to being a 1980’s Russian design. How much quality could you expect. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it ran. It sounded much quieter and in tune unlike the normal chain saw sound that it normally expued. The shifter throw went from about four inches to a normal inch and their was no more clunking. Sasha was purring and it was a pleasure to drive.

One of the over-nighter boats. If you go I would probably recommend an overnighter versus a day trip as spending a couple of days and nights just cruising along would probably be extremely relaxing. The four hour trip I did only got us to the first spot of limestone cliffs and then we came back.

There were a couple of caves that have been turned into tourist attractions.

A floating village including a bank.

We called these little kids “Banana Pirates” as they pulled along side the boats and tried to sell fruit and trinkets to the tourists.

At the floating village we stopped at the floating shop to pick up some floating fish for a floating lunch.

We started with plates of shrimp, crab, and dried squid/fish.

Since I was traveling alone I went on a private boat tour with three Taiwanese business men. They were on a less economic trip and each had a private guide/interpreter. They visited the US for work so they spoke English which made it nice for me. The best part was that they invited me for lunch.

We had three varieties of crab to sample plus free drinks hence the rows of Heineken. Since they were picking up the tab I went for the dollar a piece Cokes and Fantas.

Final course was steamed and stewed fish with different types of veggies. This was more authentic style where you get a bowl of rice and then you pick at the entrees. It was an amazing meal and easily outshined the bay.

The kissing chickens. I sort of got it but it was a stretch.

Sasha did so well I even sprung for a wash.

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