Ha Long Bay June 11 to 13, 2002

I spent three days and two nights on the Kangaroo Cafe tour of Ha Long Bay. The limestone formations of the bay were every bit as impressive as I had read about and seen on film. I was fortunate enough to be traveling with a great group of tourists and to have an excellent guide. It made the experience that much better.

Out first day was spent making out way out to the bay, and finding our way out to the water. We made a brief stop at an impressive set of caves that looked like they were being operated by Disneyland, and then made our way to our home of the evening, an anonymous calm patch of water surrounded by spectaular spires of rock. We took some time to swim, eat a fabulous meal, and then swim again in the dark to experience the phosphorescent water. The night was spent on the deck of the boat, underneath mosquito nets that looked more like serving tray covers than anything else.

The following morning, after dipping into the water again, we made our way to Cat Ba island. While there, we visited another (much more interesting) cave on the north end of the island. We also visited the somewhat misnamed Monkey Island.

The following day we returned to the boat and made our way back to the shore (after stopping to swim again, of course). Our group got along so well that we decided to meet up that night at the appropriately named "Jazz Club."

My final day back in Hanoi was spent wandering the city, packing, and chatting with friends that I made over the course of my stay in Northern Vietnam. As I was standing in the checkout counter to make the trip to Singapore I remarkably bumped into a one of my college brother's friends. It was a strange way to leave Vietnam.

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Views of Ha Long Bay...        
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      Disneyland-esque Caves...  
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      Our room for the night  
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Evening views       Morning...  
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Breakfast is served   More morning shots...      
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  Swimming!   You can never get away   Up close and personal  
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More swimming     Gesticulating wildly   Cat Ba Island  
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Mangroves   Cool cave     Back out  
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Motoring through the bay   Backlit clouds   Monkey Island   Even more views  
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  "Jazz Club"   The tour group   Gettin' their moves on  
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More dancing   Woo hoo!