Twenty-second Day - Hallong Bay 11/23/10

Posted on Wed 24 November 2010 in Trip to Vietnam • 6 min read

Sumner:
Today we woke up ate breakfast and then started to get ready for going to Hallong Bay. Let me tell you what Hallong Bay is. Hallong Bay is located on the east coast of Vietnam in the big part at the top. It is a huge bay filled with big rocks called carsts which means that the sides of the rocks go almost straight down. Anyway I'll tell you more about it later. We had organised the tour with the hotel so a hotel driver came to pick us up. Then we drove to Hallong Bay, a four hour trip if I remember corectly. We had decided to go with a company called Paridie Cruises because the hotel had recomended it and it had it's own dock so it is much easier to goet on the boat. Anyway we got to the dock and waited in the loby until we were called to go onto the boat. We walked down the gangplank and then entered the boat. We walked in and were greted by flowers falling on our heads! Then we were directed upstairs to the eating room where the manager (his name is Jonas {pronounced yo-nus}) introduced to the staff. Then we were given our keys and went to our cabins. We had two cabins one for mom and dad and one for me and Hannah. I'll tell you more about them later. After settling into our rooms we went back up tp the eating room for a buffet lunch. While we had lunch we departed from the dock and sailed out into HallongBay. Once lunch was done we went back down to the room for a miniute.
I think that this is a good tme to tell you about our rooms. They were identical so I only have to tell you one and you know what each one was like. If you went into the room and put you back against the door, immediatly to your right would be a little closet with a safe. If you then the oposite direction you would be looking at one of the beds. The first views were spectacular (well all of them were) but the first were the most supprisingly beautiful.
We enjoyed the views for a couple miniutes and then we arrived at a cave. We parked and then went on the tender (that's the thing that is tied to the back of the boat and takes you to places off the ship). It took off form the big ship and went to the dock. We got off the baot and then waited for the tour guide to buy us pur tickets. Then we climbed up one-hundred of so stairs to the mouth of the cave. The first chamber was three hundred square meters. It had many neat stalagtites but probably the most interesting thing was the celing. It looked as if someone took the sand on the beach and turned it upside down! After seeing the first cave we went through a little opening that led to the second chamber which was four hundred square meters. Our guide showed us come figures in the rocks. One was a man's face, another was happy Buddha sitting on a chair and there were others that I don't remember. The guide said that when the French discovered it durring their occupation Vietnam even the French were amased by it. I can see why too it was just totaly spectacular! Anyway we then walked to the last and biggest cave covering nine hundred square meters. She pointed out some more figures in the rocks one of which was a formation that looked like a statue of Mary. The guide also pointed out two formations that looke like turtles. The first one was kinda hard tosee the turtle-ness in it but it was a turtle. The second really looked like a turtle, finns and head, even the body looked like a turtle. The path through the cave was twisty so it was rather long but we wandered thorugh the cave. By the time we had almost gotten to the exit the group had split up to where the tour guide was in front with Hannah and some other girls who were on the boat with us. I walked right behind them listening to the guide as she pointed out other figures in the rocks to the kids. And then came groups of adults. Hannah made friends with the guide and so every time they would see each other on the boat they would wave and say hello. Anyway after the boat we cruised for a while and then were called to a cooking demonstration on the sun deck. They showed us how to make fried spring rolls. First they mixed all the ingredients into a big bowl. Then they used rice paper to roll it up. To roll it you have to get it all inside and then tuck the edges in, only then can you roll the rest of it up. They had a pan full of oil so after it was finnished they ploped it in. Putting more oil in made a big difference to then we made it at the cooking class in Hanoi because it dispersed the heat over the spring rolls more than when there wasn't so much oil. Then they asked for volentiers to make spring rolls. One person went and then since no one else would go I went. It was amasing but Hannah didn't want to go up ther and make a spring rool! The chef's cooker helper made spring rools with the rest of the ingredients. Then came the best part came. Eating! They were totally delicious! While the cooking demonstration was going on Johan had came to talk with us and mom said that I would be intrested in another piece, so when everyone had their spring roll they came to me and asked if I wanted another Of corse I did so I had another piece. After the cooking demonstration we watched the scenery go by and then got onto the tender to tour the largest fishing village in Hallong Bay. Unlike most fishing villages this fishing village was on the water house-boats were lined up side by side sometimes conected by a plank. It was interesting to see life go on in these houses on the sea. People doing things like cooking, playing, naping, working, almost everyting that people do we saw them do. We saw lots of houses and then came to a school this school was also on the water attached to houses on either side. The kids in this village don't walk to school or bike to school, they boat to school! They fishing village was set up in the space inbetwene three islands. The houses hugged the coasts of each island so that you could just go all three islands and you would have seen the whole village. That's exacty what we did too we kept we saw many different houses and I was thinking that "you know, if you don't like your neighbors you can just move away! Afther the fishing village we went back to the boat until we came to our final ancoring place for the night. There was some time to kyak and  swim but we didn't do either for it was getting dark. Once the people who did go out came in we had dinner. Dinner was a set meal ao many different veat Vietnamese seafood dishes. It was the first time that I had ever been served a multi course meal like that and the food was delicious. Each of the dishes had something to do with seafood (not suprising because we were on the ocean). After dinner we flopped into bed.