Living with Rats

Halong Bay Travel Blog

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Cool sail boat on Halong Bay

People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Juliana (Russia), Lina and Carola (Germany), Arancha, Marina, Monica and Teresa (Spain), Markus (Germany)

Another early start was on the cards for a 3 day 2 night trip to Halong Bay and Cat Ba Island. When we arrived into Halong Bay, we were introduced to our fellow sea faring companions, 2 German girls - Lina and Carola, 4 Spanish girls - Arancha, Marina, Monica and Teresa and 1 German guy called Markus. After a spot of lunch on the boat, we were shown into our cabin, which i was quite impressed with, having a shower, double bed and wardrobe.

We spent the afternoon sailing in between the beautiful islands of Halong Bay, kind of Guilin on water! We stopped off at one island and visited an impressive cave, which contained some fascinating formations.

One of the caves at Halong Bay
A 30 minute sail and we were deposited on another island, where we climbed to the top for some breathtaking vistas of the Bay. After witnessing a Korean tour group perform some music-less karaoke and dancing, we returned to the boat for a shower. Entering the bathroom, alarm bells began to ring for the first time, seeing a cockroach climbing the wall. After flushing it down the plug hole, a super quick shower was followed by quite a tasty evening meal. We retired back to our cabins to read and got an early night around 9.30pm.

..... scratch scratch ..... i opened my eyes and whooooosh, something large was running across the side of our cabin. I leapt up to try and turn the bedside lamp on, just as the dark object disappeared by the cupboard. Julia had heard the noise but not seen anything.

Some of the scenic rock formations
I could have sworn it was a rat, but do rats run along the wall? After trying to bang the cupboard andlook for the mysterious thing, we decided to try and get back to sleep. Could it have been a cockroachs shadow, with a light making it look bigger? But what about the sound, it was too loud surely? We went into semi sleep hoping whatever it was wouldn't return!

..... scratch scratch ..... Julia was nudging me, oh christ, not again. It was around 1.30am by now. Once more we tried to find the pesky critter, but to no avail, so back to bed.

..... scratch scratch ..... Julia was nudging me again. Thats enough, its 4.30am and i'm getting pretty peeved by this stage! Out comes the flip flog and after flogging every object in the room, the noise vanished.... had i killed it? - - - - - - Zooming from near the bed the object flew up the wall again.

Scenery at Halong Bay
Sure it was a rat, but with no real way of dealing with it, we tried toget a few more hours of restless sleep.

We went for breakfast around 8am and told our guide and fellow passengers of our night time antics. Our guide tried to claim it was maybe a bat i'd seen! I explained the noise and size, but he was not convinced. As we packed our bags, we carefully checked each item to make sure whatever it was, wasn't coming along for the ride! When we got to our food bag, the evidence was there, the rat had eaten its way through a plastic bag and some of our bread rolls. We showed the guide, but he still wasn't impressed by the evidence... yeah, bats eat bread, run along the floor and make scratching noises!

As we went to settle our drinks bill with the captain, i suggested he may replace the bread that was eaten by the rat.

Scenery at Halong Bay
He didn't believe it was a rat, so i showed him the evidence. He said there was no more bread on board, so i suggested he give us a free soft drink as a good will gesture. At this point he turned aggressive telling us to pay for the drinks and get off his boat! Lovely, who says the customer is always right?! Pretty annoyed, we left the boat, wondering when we may actually encounter some non psychotic macho moron in the Vietnamese tourism industry!?

mellemel8 says:
GOOD GOD!!! maybe taking photos of the bat and showing it. i see what you have been saying.
Posted on: Dec 17, 2008
Deats says:
From the itinary and photos, we didnt see much difference between most of the tours. Often it seemed people on the boats were paying more than others for exactly the same product. The rudeness of the people here kind of summed up our experience of the Vietnamese. One country i will never return to!
Posted on: Nov 17, 2008
josephinedraper says:
we were given three choices of operator in halong bay - cheap, medium or expensive and went for the medium - we pretty much had to: the tour operator warned us that no-one has a good time on the cheap tour! Mind you the staff were so rude on the medium tour and the food was so pants that I wouldn't be surprised if that had a lot of complaints too. I think there are just too many tourists there so the staff are not interested in being polite any more... and they certainly aren't interested in getting rid of rats by the sound of it!
Posted on: Nov 17, 2008
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Cool sail boat on Halong Bay
Cool sail boat on Halong Bay
One of the caves at Halong Bay
One of the caves at Halong Bay
Some of the scenic rock formations
Some of the scenic rock formations
Scenery at Halong Bay
Scenery at Halong Bay
Scenery at Halong Bay
Scenery at Halong Bay
Rock formations in a cave at Halon…
Rock formations in a cave at Halo…
Rock formations - you decide what …
Rock formations - you decide what…
Rock formations in a cave at Halon…
Rock formations in a cave at Halo…
Scenery at Halong Bay
Scenery at Halong Bay
Me at Halong Bay
Me at Halong Bay
Julia at Halong Bay
Julia at Halong Bay
Julia building an inpenetrable san…
Julia building an inpenetrable sa…
Halong Bay with the boats lit up a…
Halong Bay with the boats lit up …
Halong Bay