We left at 8:00am for the 4 hour journey to Hue, I was still tired so I was able to sleep the whole way there. Travelling while sleeping is a very efficient way to travel to make up for lost time doing activities, as long as you can do it.
When we got to hue the group went out for lunch and I wanted to do the street food thing because it was cheaper and usually better, I ended up writing and going to a little place recommended on trip adviser. Last time I do that, it had already lost it’s local food charm and increased prices.
Decided to think on it, the night was shaping out to be a nice night out. Todd, the other group leader, was putting together a room party in his room and invited us. Got some cheap vodka (1 Dollar for a bottle) and had a nice deep fried rice pancake sandwich for supper.
Started the night in our room and eventually made our way to Todd’s room and eventually went out to the bar for some good dj’ing and dancing with the group, Loren, Kerry, Leri and Laura, was glad to have met them. 🙂
We had a 13 hour travel day of bus and train so we only had a half day in hue. I decided to walk by the imperial palace to see what it was about, but my legs were tired from the night before so I just went back to the hotel to rest after an hour and a half walk. The price was a little on the pricey side too.
Rested up before the 13 hour train ride ahead. On the train played a couple card games with Ryan, Marty and Dek. Then went to Loren, Leri, Kerry and Laura’s room for some drinks and we played the watermelon game as a group. It was good fun. Eventually went to bed and was up the next day at 8 am for the bus ride to Halong bay.
We switched to a bus going to Halong bay in Hanoi and I tried sleeping on the bus but it was impossible the road there is so bumpy that it would make us literally jump off the bench. We arrived at the hotel in Halong bay at 8 am but we couldn’t check in till 10 am. So I napped on a chair before going to nap in the room before we left at 11:30 for our boat
trip. Woke up from the nap and left for Halong Bay, at the boat stop we got on this very old looking boat. There was a nice dining room in the bottom deck and a top deck for viewing. On the approach to ha long bay, they served us food. It was good as per usual, seafood meal with shrimp and had my first real tasting of shrimp with the head on, you need to eat the black stuff. Our first ride-by was the kissing chickens as they are called.
The approach was epic, felt like I was in pirates of the Caribbean approaching a new island. A great feeling, approaching a sleeping giant, no idea why these islands were in the middle of nowhere and standing greatly among the world. Going through them really had an aspect of magic to it, it’s hard to comprehend at the time but after a couple weeks you feel it’s presence gone from you. I had a nap on the top of the boat for 45 minutes listening to music it felt great. Then we went through a couple more islands and a (tourist) cave. Got the Lord of the rings feeling of when they cross into Rohan pass the two giants, when I went through these islands.
We went back to the hotel after and had some italian food it was so nice to eat pasta again, I had a bacon penne arabiata. After that Dek and I left to go catch a soccer game, he paid for the snacks we got a some muscles and the table next to us got a fish and shrimp to share. It was cool to see the locals soccer snack be seafood, back home we eat chicken wings and fries.
We went home after and I saw some old asian lady beating an eel, only in vietnam. She was selling it and it had jumped out of the bag onto the ground so what else are you gonna do but grab a stick and start wailing at it to try and knock it out. I had the video but my camera failed and bugged out so it was lost 😦 Either way, it looks exactly like what is sounds like, Hilarious!!
I do have to mention one thing about Ha Long bay, it’s becoming more and more commercialized. The whole town was in construction mode and was slowly getting closer to the bay. It was sad to see what it was becoming, they were building an amusement park right next door to this Heritage site… the sooner you go the better. Anyways, it was time to sleep and get ready for our trip into Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam and where I was looking most forward to going to in Vietnam.
Stay awesome and follow your dreams.
Here’s a video of Ha Long bay for your enjoyment.