Thursday, July 05, 2007


Started the day off early at 6 am with some miến luôn so that we would have enough energy for the 3 hour ride to Hạ Long Bay. We arrived at the dock but ran into some minor problems with the boats. We had a boat reserved already but one of the crew members threw a small fit with the guards at the gate. A huge argument arose and our boat was taken away for inspection. We were led to the very next boat, a nicer one actually, and continued on our trip while the crew member stayed behind. That was not very smart of him but then, when you are oppressed by communism, sometimes you just have to let some steam out…it just happened to be on our Hạ Long trip.

Once we got under way, however, everything went smoothly. We ate on the boat and arrived at the grottos in decent time. The caves were so dark and massive, stunningly beautiful with small beams of colored lights highlighting the best parts of the grotto. Of course, the artist and his 3 dorky siblings HAD to take some shadow pictures and crazy stupid ones. Some even came out pretty good, even in the low dim lights of the cave. The caves were thankfully so cool and refreshing as opposed to the outside. When we stepped back out, we almost had to be pushed out it was so hot.

After exploring the grottos, we headed back to the boat to head to an island in Hạ Long to go swimming. The water was so refreshing, especially since it was so humid and hot that day. We all stripped and jumped in the water, Thày Thái included. A sea-doo was out for rent so we got it for an hour. We all took turns riding around the small grottos near the island while the rest of us swam and tried to catch small fish with our hands. An actually succeeded! He screamed it out and we came running. The idiot takes the fish out of water and brings it to us. By the time we saw it, it was near dead! The poor thing was almost sideways by the time we let it go but we tried to revive it in the water, in our captivity still. Hopefully, it was able to breathe again when we put it back in the water!

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