Monday, August 05, 2013

Vietnam: Day 3 off to Ha Long Bay.


This morning we are off to Ha Long Bay.


In the morning, we hopped off for some breakfast for 30K VDN. Its the same noodle soup we had yesterday, the vermicelli sour crab soup.

I think that that is about the average price for a bowl of noodles around here. But I saw a morning breakkie set offering backpackers for about 39K VDN. So I am wondering if the lady jacked up the price too. It's possibly, but well... how do you argue then?

Anyways.... went to change about USD40 which came up to about 800K VDN. Spent quite a bit at the Sunday street market yesterday, so I thought a little more of change would come in handy later. Not all the shops accept American dollars, and the food stalls only accept Vietnamese Dong, so that could not be avoided. Anyways, its always better to have more cash in hand to too little and worry about paying for food!

Our pickup was about close to an hour after the appointed time of 8am. 

We passed by expansive paddy fields. Our journey was slowed down as there was an accident on the road involving a van and a motorbike. 


Some of the interesting features of the paddy fields here involve that the peoples here bury their dead in the middle of the field. There is also a designated area for landfill in parts of the field.

In our tour bus, there were travellers from Japan, Korea, France, America and Australia. Quite a diverse number of international travellers heading to Ha Long. 




We stopped over for a bus break at this rest place. The rest place was basically a shop cum factory where travellers can buy produce and merchandise made by the disabled. The ware included works of art like clothes, hand sewn art articles, marble sculptures and of course precious stone jewelry. 





Lunch on board the ferry




Like every trip, there was something to go wrong.

Our trip cost us USD45. We found from other travelers that they paid as much as USD70 for the same trip. But that isn't the worst case scenario. 

It turned out for our trip that the boats were overbooked, and hence we had no choice but to stay in a motel. It took approximately four hours from Hanoi to the bay where we needed to board our trip. 

My travel buddy was highly aggravated by the entire situation.. Not that we can do anything about it anyways. 

Anyways, after dinner we ended up walking down the street to the main road of Catba Island. There were dancing and singing acts being performed on the harbor.


To end the day, I ended up purchasing a pearl necklace at about 210K VDN at one of the pearl souvenir stalls near the harbor. It is roughly about RM30, which I think is pretty cheap. It is also quite modern looking and pretty, so I got it.

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