The fog really added to the mystique of Halong Bay
Now this entry is also being typed up in advance. My current location: an overnight sleeping bus. These buses have fold back seats with extended leg room, in essence giving you a virtually horizontal seat from which you can sleep relatively comfortably on. For $50, these are hop on and board at your pace buses that run from Hanoi
all the way to Saigon at the cost of $50. Considering Vietnam spans over 2,500 miles or so going north to south, I am already assured this is worth every dong we paid.
But let's get back to the Halong Bay
trip. I first must say that the people we met on this segment were all wonderful people.
The dog barking up the mountain
It took about 3.5 hours to get to Halong Bay by bus. We boarded the boat and the view and atmosphere was simply majestic. It was continuously misty with a light breeze, but not too humid. So it was a little wet, but not that wet. Very comfortable even outside on the top deck. We eventually got to the main attraction of Halong Bay, a cave called Thien Cung. It's essentially a very hollowed out cavern with very unique erosion within its walls. The Vietnamese government also added a bunch of colored lights all over which gives the place a very sublime feel.
Anytime we weren't taking pictures, we were usually talking with our collective group of travelers. The 2 Orit and I hung out with most were 2 Scottish brothers, Richard and Jason. We also had passing conversations with pretty much everyone else: an Italian couple, a French couple, an Irish family, and 3 Koreans in their 20s.
The Thien Cung cave
After dinner, we spent time playing card games; Jason surprisingly knew how to play Big 2 and brought that up first so we played that. But the kicker is that I noticed one of the Vietnamese staff had a Chinese Chess set with him. Once I sat down with him, that's all I did. We played 6 games. I won the first 3, then he seemed to get me figured out better and he won the next 2. The last game informally ended in a stalemate. While he had a slight advantage over me, he couldn't get me into checkmate and we just aborted at 1 AM. I had not had any real games of Chinese Chess since I played with my grandpa maybe around 15 years ago. In all honesty, combined with the sightseeing earlier in the day, I don't think I've felt so alive in a long long time.
The morning was a very pretty sight. There was a light mist and without being restless with my sleep, I was up around 6:30 AM.
Kayaking in the foggy morning
Going onto the top deck alone with the foggy morning was very surreal along with the first track on my iPod at the time being dBu's Deep Mountain remix. Very cool indeed. We started our kayaking a little late, but we did get it done. Also a very worthwhile experience. The rest of the journey was still very enjoyable along with the standard fare of the wrapping up and equally long bus ride back into Hanoi. It's been a long day and it'll be longer still. I've only been able to settle down for about 1.5 hours before we got off our Halong Bay bus to board this new one. And this trip to Hue overnight will take about 14 hours.
I don't think our pictures did much of what we saw justice, but we'll try to get those up soon. There'll be a ton to sort through and as comfortable as this bus is relatively speaking, we're still bobbing up and down so it's not doing me that good to stare at the computer for this long while I type.