Date: Sunday, January 10, 2010
Travel: Touring Van
Party: Linda, Vu & Family
Lodging: Ha Long Hotel
Photos: 20100110 HalongBay
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Early in the morning we take a van including, another cousin working in Hanoi to Ha Long Bay. Even though the bay is not far from Hanoi, we have to wind through traffic and small roads for over 3 hours. Once we arrived, Chau had arranged an entire junk boat for just our family. The boat could probably sit over 100, but we only used up over just a dozen seats. The cruise was to be a half day long, and would include an entrance to a nearby cave. During the short cruise, there would be lunch served, and again, plenty of seafood.
As we returned back to the shore, we stayed around the coastal town of Ha Long for dinner and eventually for the night. What was strange was that Ha Long Bay is a known tourist destination, but yet the town seemed a bit empty. Granted that it was not the high tourist season, it still seemed to be too empty. We went to a nearby restaurant where there was not 1 customer inside. It was a fairly large restaurant. The food ordered was strange, and was not tasty. The Pho ordered had tomatoes in it, which is absurd. And then there was this oyster like animal. It was very expensive and tasted horrible. So horrible in fact that it would lead to a huge amount of troubles over the week, landing him in the hospital. (See post )
After waking up early in the morning the next day to listen to an NFL playoff game with the Cardinals, we shop by local artisan markets, where we end up purchasing crafts. Crafts which are a bit more pricier than other places, but with higher qualities. Spending so much time shopping, we did not have a chance to go back to Hanoi, and instead just went straight to the airport to fly out to our next destination of the beach town, Nha Trang.