So people really like to start things early here. Our pick up for Tu Long Bay was at 7:45 a.m. We got a wake up call at 6:30 and had breakfast at 7:00. It was wonderful. Just one note, cheese is not an Asian specialty and should not be included in any dish it is offered in such as an omelette… Your conversation should go, “Would you like cheese in your omelette?” “No Thank you, just the vegetables will be great” But instead, I said sure, cheese sounds great. And so there I was with three little hard dried prices of Kraft single on the top of an otherwise delicious omelette… Live and learn. Greg, remembering that the French had owned Vietnam for a long time, opted for the pancake which of course turned out to be an absolutely delicious crepe.
The big limo van/bus that picked us up, was fully tricked out with cream leatherette armchairs and mirrors and burled wood and brown velveteen. We shared the four hour ride to the coast with three guys and a girl all from California, a group of four friends that was around 30 years old. They were really nice and friendly and interesting. The boys figured out how to close the screen to the driver and put up the tv and play music. There is wifi in the van, but like the wifi in the hotel it was spotty and weak. We stopped at an arts and craft centre with a large sculpture garden.
|Riding in the Limo Van|
|The sculpture garden at the tourist arts and crafts centre.|
|The Harbour at Ha Long Bay|
|Our cabin - it really was twice the size of all the other cabins.|
|The Red Dragon Junk. Long (Like Ha Long or Tu Long, means Dragon)|
We stopped at an island with a beach and a big cave. We spent a nice afternoon exploring the beach and the cave. The weather is quite cool and of course no one has really warm clothing. We wrapped ourselves in big warm towels and sat up at the forward mast pulpit and watched while we sailed away through these lovely tall islands. Our guide had told us how the Mother and baby dragon had come to help their ancestors and had decided to stay because the land was so beautiful. It is a magical place.
|Greg on the steps to the cave|
|In the cave. If you go on the longer tours, they set up tables inside the cave and serve dinner there.|
|A starfish on the beach|
|Our lovely dinner even came with exquisite decorations carved out of yams|
|The lovely tall islands|
|So much beauty|
|It was a shame it was too cold for us to swim comfortably.|