I just left Vietnam and I had an amazing time. First we went to Ho Chi Minh
City and I made my first million. One US dollar is worth 20,000 Vietnamese dong. Yes, their money is called dong. Anyway I took out $50 and became a
millionaire! I definitely liked the way that felt. Then I promptly spent my
first million at the giant market they have. It's like a big flea market only
everything is much cheaper and it smells like fish. They sell anything you can think of. It's a very strange experience. You can buy North Face there for like $7. Then we walked around the city a bit and noticed how many people rode moped type bikes. I mean, there were almost no cars around, just motorbikes and buses. It made crossing the street a little intimidating.
The next day we were in a much smaller city, if you can even call it a city.
The only thing I managed to do in Chan May was have some delicious coffee (they apparently use condensed milk, not regular) and steal some free internet. Apparently they use that port as a way to Da Nang, but next time we just leave out the middle man so that's good.
Then we were off to Ha Long Bay. We got there the morning of the Superbowl, and yes, we had the Superbowl in the morning. 6:30am to be exact. All the foreign chefs on board were trying to be creative and have traditional football food so instead of some sensible eggs and toast at 6:30 in the morning, I was offered mini burgers and hot dogs. Awesome. I had a glass of OJ and only got grumpier as the game progressed. That's all I'm going to say about that.
The next day I took a crew tour around Ha Long Bay. I wasn't quite sure what to expect but it was really beautiful. We all got in this old, rickety boat that kept getting stock on docks and mud but luckily the other boats will come over and bump you back on your way. First they took us to an island and she told us we would have to walk up 100 steps. In my mind I was thinking, "100 steps to where?" When we got about halfway up there was a hole in the side of the rock that we climbed through and it was the entrance to a massive cave inside the island. It was awesome. They had all these colored lights glowing inside so you could make out the different rock formations. The guide kept pointing out what each rocked looked like and most of the time it was some form of Buddha. "This is Buddha laughing." "This is Buddha riding a lion." "This is Buddha dressed like a lady." I didn't always see what she was talking about so we started making up our own. On the other side of the cave we exited into the light and walked back down. Along the way were venders selling snacks and drinks. Jonathan and I were so excited to see these delicious rice crackers he had found in another city so we bought two packages of them. When we got back to the boat we opened them to a very unpleasant surprise. "It smells like an old library!" He shouted. And that is exactly what they tasted like. Big mistake. Then our
journey went on to look at the giant limestone rock formations al around the bay. There are 1969 islands, to be exact. It was fun to name all the different rocks. There was a dog, a cat, kissing chickens. One of the pictures I got looks just like Homer Simpson to me, but nobody else saw it. It was a really nice way to spend the day and I always like doing to crew tour because we get to go together rather than have to sit at the back of the bus counting guests over and over again.
Sassy ginger from NH off traveling the world.