Ha Long Bay, 2 Days 1 Night
Ryan: Our first trip from Hanoi was to Ha Long Bay, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Area and reminds me a lot of the islands in Thailand. The legend goes that dragaons placed the islands there to defend Vietnam from foreign invaders.
Lauren: To add on, I think the gods sent the dragon to protect the small village and it would breathe out fire, and the fire turned into hard rocks once it hit the waters…or something like that.
For more of an accurate story, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ha_Long_Bay
Thursday 19 January 2012
We were picked up the next morning by the Aclass cruise shuttle to take us to Halong Bay (a 4.5 hour bumpy bus ride). Ryan was still feeling sick, and slept the whole way to the rest stop where he spewed some more. He felt a lot better after that, and we befriended a lovely couple and talked with them the second half of the bus ride to Halong Bay. The ride was bumpy, but the scenery was lovely to see with green rice fields passing us by.
When we arrived to our Opera cruise ship, we were welcomed by the friendly crew, and the captain, who summarised our itinerary.
We had a lovely lunch that Ryan was unable to enjoy. He was in our cabin most of the time trying to feel better. The crew members were really attentive, and prepared a food platter to bring down to Ryan just in case he would get hungry. Ryan ended up joining us, but sat for a few minutes. He was disappointed that he couldn’t enjoy the food that had been prepared for him. He returned to our cabin.
After lunch, was kayaking by the floating village. I checked in on Ryan to see if he was fit to go, and to my surprise he mustered all his energy to go kayaking with me and the group. During the activity, he was feeling good as he go fresh air, but when we returned to our boat, he was not feeling so great. He was burning up. He managed to stick around for our mini cooking lesson on how to roll spring rolls and took a couple of pictures with me before returning to the cabin.
He slept through dinner, and I was to have another solo dinner. Luckily I had Steve and Eve for company, and that evening I met a couple from Tasmania and 3 UK guys over dinner. The crew members insisted on making Ryan food to take down, even though I said he was sleeping. They prepared everything and followed me to our room with the food trays after everyone finished dinner. Ryan was deep asleep when we knocked, and was a bit delirious.
They set the food platter on the bed, and the captain of the crew, Sunny, came in to check on us. He then came back with ginger tea and panadol. He was so sweet. Unfortunately, Ryan was unable to eat the food, and I had to bring it back up.
The next morning Ryan was feeling better, which was great because we were hiking to the Surprising Cave (not too bad of a hike). Our tour guide Tuan was very humorous with telling us legends and stories about the cave and the karsts of Halong Bay. The trip was very enjoyable. Afterwards we had lunch on the boat and made way back to the mainland where another 4.5 hour bus ride awaited us.