Category: Vietnam 2017

Ha Long Bay

October 29-30.  After breakfast, we depart at 7:45AM for a 3 1/2 hour drive through rice paddy fields to Ha Long Bay, stopping at a very commercial spot to learn about pearls.  We are cautioned by Hoan that this is not the best place to buy.

Arriving at Ha Long, we have a drink and board a “junk” ( which is a lovely, air conditioned boat) for a cruise among the hundreds of islets of Ha Long Bay. We enjoy a multi-course seafood lunch. The scenery is spectacular and I’ve picked some photos pretty-much at random, to give you some idea. (The two photos are taken on and from from our private deck, outside our room.)

Carol walks up and down some 200 steps to see a cave at which we dock. My back is still bothering me, so, at Carol’s sensible urging, I pass. Nancy and Chet also decide not to go. We drop anchor in the early evening for an overnight stay among the dramatic limestone peaks rising out of the sea. 

 The chef offers a cooking demonstration at 6PM that Carol takes to learn how to make spring rolls. We dress for dinner.  

After the six course-dinner, Carol and I disappear for the massages we’ve booked. Yes, I know, it certainly is a tough life, but SOMEBODY’S gotta do it and, damnit, we’re up to the task.  

Monday morning, my back almost having recovered from the pain I was in after the massage last night (serves me right, I know), we have breakfast on the boat and the cruise around the bay, docking by 11AM.  We all pass up the opportunity to shuttle to an island either to sit on the beach or hike up for a panoramic view.  The views from the boat are panoramic enough and much more peaceful, since the island seems to have been invaded by an armada of junks.  

Hoan and our driver meet the boat and we are driven back to the hotel.  We stop for coffee and, as if we needed proof for the smallness of the world, catch the last two innings of the Astros win over the Dodgers in Game 5.

As the pollution is starting to affect us, we invest in masks for the ride back to the hotel.


As our rooms in the old part of the Metropole were a bit musty, we asked to be transferred to the new part of the hotel and upgraded our rooms to the executive floor, with lounge.  Brilliant decision.

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