Around 8 am, we boarded the minibus to Halong Bay. It was a fairly easy, 4-hour journey. Michael still being drunk was a little annoying, but we’re all a little annoying drunk so I put up with it. I read another book I stole from Johnny about a young boy with Aspergers Syndrome (written very accurately it seems from his perspective) and how his whole life turns upside down when he begins to investigate the murder of his neighbor’s dog. It was quite a page-turner. I put some Beatles on my ipod and read the whole way there.
With our sombreros waiting for the boat
When we arrived, our tour guide, Louis, handed us all these silly sombreros to wear so he could keep track of us. We obliged, given that there were a ridiculous amount of people from different tours at the harbor. We boarded a small boat to take us to the lashed-together group of 3 boats that would be our home for the night. We all headed to the top deck to await further instructions. The Halong Bay tour guides were quite entertaining as they gave directions. Rooms was sorted, lunch was served. I stayed in a room with Michael, Maria, and Louise on the main boat. People were being crazy and jumping off the boat. You got a shirt if you belly-flopped in (esentially smacking some part of your body). I asked if a cannonball could count. They said sure. I cannonballed in, not hurting myself- as opposed to many of the crazier guys who were bruised up for days afterwards. I won myself a “Don’t Take Life Too Seriously, It Isn’t Permanent” Hanoi Backpackers Hostel pink tank-top.
We did some sea-kayaking (or I should say Michael did. My paddle was useless) out to this little beach. Louis, the tour-guide, made an off-color joke about the war. I started crying. From there, I was sort of a crying-mess all night. I ended up meeting this cool Vietnamese guy, Quan, and when we all got back from kayaking him and I had a long conversation about the different effects the war had on our lives. Later on, I made friends with one of the other tour guides, Lee (younger brother of Louis). He had a ridiculous moustache for Movember that made it a little difficult to take what he was saying seriously, but he was really nice to me and ended up being one of my favorite people I’ve met this trip.
Gorgeous Halong Bay
Chelseacrown (From Napa, United States)