Vietnam Part 1 - Halong Bay

After preludes of pestering, and while waiting for the Actified I just swallowed to take effect, I finally have the patience to sit and blog about our Vietnam trip.

If there's one thing I learned from the trip, it's that the number of motorcycles they have are twice the population of Singapore. From a distance, it looks like millions of lemmings jumping off a cliff. Only difference is that these lemmings emit pollutive exhaust from their behinds.

The streets hosts a constant flow rate of approximately 5 motorcycles/second. Unlike the plagues of personal belonging security faced in other countries, over here, you'd care less about your belongings and more about not getting knocked down. One advice a friend gave me was "Stop only when you see a car coming... when you see motorbikes, walk straight, and don't stop... they will avoid you like fish". Took his advice seriously, but we did stop in the middle of a road a couple of times.
Another thing we learned, was that blue was their color of marriage. Every corner we turned to, there were buildings or tents draped with blue cloth, indicating that someone was getting married. It gives me the impression that Vietnam is a very fertile country.

Of course, the conversation with the guide always go a full circle from marriage to death. And he has to elaborate, in great details, the burial and embalming rituals of each tribe, which I'd have forgotten and conveniently left out of this review.

One place everyone visits when you go to Vietnam is Halong Bay. We took a private boat in and had lunch catered for with the boat ride. Seafood there must've been really cheap.

We got fresh prawns for a start....

Followed by stuffed crabs, fries and vegetables.....

sotong, popiah, mixed vegetables and fish ...

I'm quite sure I missed quite a number of some dishes.

The scenery on the boat was nice. It's always nice enjoying the breeze while looking at rock formations. Guess which one is the leaping dragon, the big dog and the puppy. (Don't ask me.. I only know which one is the puppy)

We stopped the boat and went into some caves.

The cave we went to was named after a fisherman who accidently stumbled upon this cave while trying to find a place to rest. The government paid the fisherman a hefty sum for finding the place.

The guide mentioned about Tran Hung Dao, the national hero who led the Vietnamese people to victory over Mongolian in the 13 century by stocking up bamboo spikes at the cave, and using these spikes to impale the Mongolian fleet in shallow waters.

After a couple of hours of mountain trekking, we headed back to the hotel. Didn't know what to have for dinner, so we decided to try local cuisine and go for 'Cha Ca' (fish fried dipped in tumerine scented cooking oil) at 'Cha Ca La Vong'. I'd have to admit, the 'Cha Ca' was quite tasty albeit being guilty of high colesterol.

's 1.15 and the Actified is kicking in... good night!!

To be continued.....

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