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Hanoi & Halong Bay

The Cruise from Hell


View Francis & Edward, Taste of the World on edcastano's travel map.

The only redeeming thing about this part of our journey was the scenary, and some of the people we met on the cruise. The rest of it was too horrible to describe on one page. But we will try, nonetheless.

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Welcome to the cruise from hell, where not even the most basic things should be expected. Our door knob fell off the door handle, the sheets were filthy, the water did not flow, the electricity did not work, the bread was moldy, the staff was rude, roaches roamed free....the list goes on. And did we mentioned we over-paid for it by a lot?

If you are interested in doing a cruise in Halong Bay, please take note of the boat below and make sure you avoid it at all costs. And please, no smart comments about the name of the boat. All of the boats on the bay are called Chinese Junks, (no, I am not kidding).

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Although the cruise itself was as bad as it gets, the setting was spectacular. It consists of 1,969 limestone islands covering several hundred square kilometers. The bay has been 500 million years in the making, shaped by the forces of the earth's crust and water erosion.

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Many of the limestone islands contain large caves, like the one pictured below.

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Hanoi

After the cruise from hell, we decided to take it easy in Hanoi. We spent countless hours watching b-movies on cable TV.

However, we did explore our immediate area and had some unique experiences. One in particular stands out. One of the local vendors was particularly persistent, to the point that she put her load of fruit on Edward's shoulder. Being a good sport about it, he pretended to steal it and went of into the street trying to sell pineapples and bananas. The locals were amused, but weren't buying. Eventually, he did make a sale. Edward sold a pineapple for 2,000 Dong. However, he paid the vendor 5,000 Dong for it, partly because he was unsure of it's actual value, and partly to thank her for the fun she had at Edward's expense.

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We also explored a nearby park on the lake where we took the snapshot below.

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Posted by edcastano 05:55 Archived in Vietnam

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