Day 14: Tuesday September 27th – Halong Bay
We wake up to a beautiful day in Halong Bay and start the day off with a private Tai Chi lesson. Mike and I have so much fun doing Tai Chi “for beginners” that we are motivated to look for Tai Chi lessons once we are back in the US. The Chef prepared a nice Western breakfast for us plus some Watermelon juice. I never had water melon juice and it tastes delicious.
We set out to visit some caves but after we saw the amount of boats “parked” in front of the caves we decided to skip them and to find a more secluded place. Halong Bay is definitely a sight to see in Vietnam but unfortunately its not pristine and exclusive as we had hoped for. The word is out and every day hundreds and in the high season even thousands of tourists visit Halong Bay. Strangely enough is Halong Bay heavily regulated by the government and the ships/boats can only park at 7 “sleeping spots” at night.
We hear different versions of the reasoning behind it, mainly for security reasons as well as to preserve Halong Bay. If that’s the truth then I guess it’s a good thing BUT if you take a look at the water then you know that the government is not preserving anything. Pollution and waste management is a HUGE issue in all of Vietnam. I blame limited education that the Vietnamese people don’t see the big picture of what they are doing to their environment by pouring their entire trash into the rivers and oceans. But then again, who am I to complain about pollution? There might not be a lot of trash floating down in our rivers in the Pacific Northwest, but the US is one of the major polluters in the world, so I better don’t point fingers and start using my recycle shopping bags that I always forget at home.
In the afternoon we visited a floating fishing village and Mike and I learned how to fish with a really big net while one of the local fisherman is spreading out the net in a cover the second fisherman rows a bamboo row boat around the cove dragging the net out into a big circle while all of us pound with big wooden boards on the boat to create a lot of noise, trying to make the fish come out and swim into the net. After a very short time the net gets collected and we find a variety of fish in the net, even a crab and an oyster and let all the fish go as they are all tiny.
We end the day with a nice dinner in our private dining room with water view.
Day 15: Wednesday September 28th Halong Bay – Hanoi
After our Tai Chi lesson we enjoyed our last breakfast on the Legend, taking in the last beautiful views of the stunning Bay and then say good bye to the Legend Crew and then meet Quang for the 3,5 hour drive back to Hanoi.
We had planned to do a Cyclo tour (a three wheel bicycle taxi) through Hanoi’s old town but then decided to hang out at the pool in the beautiful and historic Metropole hotel and visit downtown Hanoi when we are back from Sapa on Saturday. At 10:00 p.m. we are boarding the Victoria train for our adventurous night ride to the Vietnamese mountain town Sapa…and I am scared for my life….
To be continued….