AsiaVietnamHanoi

Hanoi to Ha long Bay

Hanoi Travel Blog

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people hurrying to work on a cold foggy February morning
The desk clerk at our hotel arranged our tour of Ha Long Bay with an overnight stay at Cat Ba Island. The tour included pick up by taxi at our hotel and transfer to the tour bus, bus transport to our boat in Ha Long City with a stop enroute at an aid centre for agent orange victims, a return boat trip to Cat Ba island stopping for a cave tour on one of the small islands, overnight in a hotel on Cat Ba island and a meal in a Ha Long City restaurant before returning to our hotel in Hanoi - total cost about $30.00 each - an amazing value. 

We got up at the break of day and watched the city come to life through the front window of our hotel while we waited for our taxi.
our taxi driver had been issued a touque, scarf and gloves because of the cold weather
The weather was bitterly cold in Hanoi - all the taxi drivers had been issued scarves and gloves. At Ha Long Bay the mix of cold air, warm seas and air polluted by coal thermal-electric generating plants produced a thick fog which shrouded the bay until late afternoon.

We were taken by taxi to a meeting point near the railway station where we boarded our tour bus along with a diverse group from Isreal, Norway and New Zealand.

The bus trip from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay was the only opportunity we had to observe the rural life of Vietnam and it was busy, indeed. Virtually every square centimetre of arable lsnd was under cultivation either in rice or vegetables. Animals - cattle and water buffalo were the major sources of motive power in agriculture along with humans. We were amazed at the amount of house construction activity. It was evident that the population was increasing and that the economy was growing at a dramatic pace.

I'm told that most of the people living in Vietnam today are too young to remember the war with the United States. However, there are still people who suffer from the effects of US chemical warfare - in particular the effects of the defoliant 245-T (agent orange). Our bus stopped at a tourist rest stop where victims of "agent orange" are employed in the provision of goods and services to the tourist industry. The project is sponsored by international aid agencies because the US refuses to acknowledge the damage done by its chemical warfare program.


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between Hanoi and Ha Long we saw …
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Hanoi
photo by: mario26