So... it's been almost a year since our trip to Ha Long Bay, but... I figure we should still get some photos up and some brief explanations. It was a kickin' trip! Actually, that's a bit of an understatement - it was one of the coolest trips of our lives.
So, like past posts, I'm just going to let the pictures do most of the talking. You know... 1,000 words and whatever. Let me just say - the pictures don't do it justice. It was overwhelmingly, devastatingly, breath-takingly, gorgeous.
I should begin by saying that this trip was not very well explained to us. We were in Hanoi before moving to Germany and decided to have one last mini-trip to Ha Long Bay. We just went to the travel place and ordered tickets, but we really had no idea what to expect. We kinda just closed our eyes and went where the bus took us (and boats). It was a bit awkward, but luckily it over-delivered by like, 10,000%.
These are the boats that we took. Super cool.
Our friends Xavier and Geraldine - they came with us and kept us entertained. We had a great time laughing at the super bad Engrish menus on the boat, featuring cocktails such as the "Mos-Mos Polito" (cosmopolitan), and the "Picolanda" (pina colada).
So cool. I especially like the totally accidental, artistically flowing Vietnamese flag.
The deck of our boat. Getting some rays, enjoying the scenes... amazing. There were also some times when they stopped the boat and we got to jump off the side and go swimming. It was super cool.
This lady was pretty awesome. She paddled her little boat around to all of the tourist boats, selling snacks and drinks. We totally bought some Oreos. :)
This was a little "floating village" that we passed during the tour. It was right around here that we also stopped to go kyaking. It was sooooooo great. You could paddle the kyaks through little caves and around all the islands. I wish we had some pictures, but I don't. Most of our "best" pictures from this trip are on a hard-drive that crashed. :( Maybe some day we'll get them recovered.
We spent the night on an island called "Monkey Island". For all you game nerds out there... yes I DID feel like Guybrush Threepwood, but despite my efforts, I couldn't find any pirates ANYWHERE.
We passed through Cat Ba Island during the tour where they had all sorts of suprisingly edible sealife for sale, including these starfish.
This is the bamboo hut that Xavier and Geraldine were staying in. Ours was a bit bigger / more luxurious, but it didn't look quite so "Indiana-Jones-style-cool".
There was a cool (albeit short) hike to the top of Monkey Island where you could look out over the bay. It was pretty much amazing enough to make me barf rainbows.
Sorry this picture is so crappy. I wish we had a better one. You can't really tell, but this Gecko is easily the length (and probably weight) of my hand. It was really beautiful. The reason we knew it was there because it made this super loud crazy-bonkers sound. This video gives a pretty clear idea of what it sounded like. :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR9tn0yNqQo
The inside of our lovely bamboo hut.
Risa sitting on the porch of our hut. It was really nice to wake up to the view. We sat out on the porch playing cards with Xav and Geraldine - they introduced us to a fun speed-style game they called "Madame Misure".
And I guess that's it! Anyway - it was a super great trip, and I really hope we get to go back someday. I would recommend it to anyone. In fact, I command you to go. Don't argue with me - I don't want to hear it. You deserve to see the coolest things in the world, so just go. And don't wait - go while Vietnam is still super cheap. Someday it might be expensive. :)
Anyway - much love!
Michael and Risa.