There’s something pretty wonderful about waking up on a boat in the middle of the ocean. The smell of the water, the feel of the salt in the air, and the cool breeze all blend together to make resting so much nicer than on land.
Normally I get seasick, so resting on water is the last thing I look forward to. Because the bay is so large, and the islands are far from the opening to the ocean, there are virtually no waves. I didn’t even feel the wake from the passing boats. So this cruise was a full 2 days of not wanting to puke over the side. Score!
First up, a cup of joe and a view.
To give credit, this was Cat’s idea and I stole it; unapologetically.
With only 12 rooms on the boat, we would become fast friends with the other people on the tour. We exchanged email and Facebook information with several of them. And if you are any of our friends that we didn’t get to exchange information with, please contact us through the site. We’d love to stay in touch!
The views just don’t quit.
Here we are about to enter Sung Sot; Surprise Cave.
Our first surprise was the cave being filled with stalagmites and stalactites! Cat had never been to a cave like this before our Nevada trip, and now she’s been twice in one year!
The next surprise was it being HUGE! I mean huge. See those tiny people in that photo? This isn’t the largest room.
This is about a third of the largest room in the cave. Still see the tiny people?
I thought this looked like a skull. If you see anything interesting in the rock formations feel free to leave a comment to tell us what it is. The tour guide says he needs all the help he can get deciphering the formations inside of the cave.
Even though there are many boats doing the same tour and stopping at the same sites, they have worked out keeping it from being a total disaster. There is some form of governing body that runs the tourism in the bay. They have every boat on a strict schedule of when they are allowed to go to various sites. So while there are a lot of people, it apparently could be much worse.
I thought this looked like people hanging their feet over the edge. I joked and told Cat I called this “Out to Lunch”. It reminds me of the photos showing the men eating lunch on the beam hanging out over the edge of a skyscraper under construction.
The best part about traveling is making friends from around the world. Here are some of our new friends from Stockholm, Sweden!
With only 2 short nights in Hanoi, there’s no time to waste. Immediately after getting back to the hotel we threw our bags down and ran out the door. We had to make it to Hương Liên for Bún Chả, and why would we go anywhere other than the restaurant good enough for our favorite president?
They tried to start us on the “Obama Special” that is laminated and mounted next to every table in the place. We told them we only wanted 2 small soups a 2 Hanoi Beers. The Hanoi Beer is excellent by the way. They also tried to leave the wet naps that they would later charge 3,000 vnd for, but we quickly pulled out our own and told them we didn’t need them. Watch out for these types of tricks everywhere in Vietnam.
Since it is our last night in the country, we decided to take a slow walk back towards the hotel. Cat, being the Disney princess that she is, can’t go anywhere without getting the attention of all of the cats and dogs on the way. Here she is stopped at an electronics store, being stared at by very confused employees (who really wanted to try to help sell her something), petting a cat.
Before heading to the room we stopped at Hanoi Social Club. It’s kind of a backpacker destination apparently, but based on the prices we aren’t entirely sure why. Cat ordered a Pho cocktail. Yep, like the soup. It tasted surprisingly like Pho.
While sitting with our cocktails, we decided it was time for Cat to get a manicure and pedicure. May as well take advantage here where it’s cheap! So I walked around while she got her nails done.
When she finished we again walked back to our hotel, this time crossing one last night market.
It’s been amazing, but we’re looking forward to being back in our own bed. We’ll have a wrap up post to follow, but right now I need to get my bag packed and ready for the airport. To all our friends back home, we’ll see you soon. To all of our new and old friends in Vietnam, thank you for an amazing trip! We look forward to seeing you all again soon.