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Winter Vacation - Halong Bay/Hanoi, Vietnam 2007/01/01

Happy New Year. Happy New Year May all our... (Courtesy of ABBA)

View Winter Vacation 2006 on agc_cwm's travel map.

We woke up around 7:30 said "Happy New Year" and then looked out our window and realized we were on Ha Long Bay. It was a surreal feeling.

We didn't bother having a shower this morning. I tried yesterday after my swim, but I didn't have any hot water and no pressure. We just got dressed and went out for breakfast. Breakfast was a quiet affair nobody was talking much and I think everyone was just waking up.

After breakfast we docked at a floating platform to go out for a kayak. We had to dodge all the "snack" boats and all the people in them yelling, "Do you want to buy something?" to get to our kayak. We were all in pair kayaks and we had an hour to paddle around. It was a very nice relaxing kayak. We checked out some caves, paddled around some islands, dodged some big boats, got soaked and picked up some garbage. It was a good way to bring in the New Year.

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We're not perfect kayakers, but we saw some people who are definitely not kayakers. We saw some poor woman trying to paddle it like a canoe. One end of the paddle in the water and the other sticking straight up above her. Luckily, her partner knew what he was doing. On our trip there were two families with small children. One husband and wife took the kayak out and when they were coming back in I heard them say to the other people, "You should get a different kayak, there is water in this one and you will get wet." Yep. I guess water isn't supposed to get in the kayak.

We boarded our kayaks from floating platform which had a couple floating houses and floating nets where they could keep their seafood. Courtney had a great time poking around in these to see what was there. No surprise at all she took a bunch of pictures.

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After we finished kayaking we got back on the boat to pack up all of our stuff and then steamed for port. We arrived at the dock around 11:10, but we had to jockey for a position to dock, which took a lot of exhaust and about 20 minutes. We ended up tying to another boat that was tied to the dock. We had to climb for our boat to the other boat then onto the dock.

We finally got back on dy land, loaded in another van after half an hour of waiting and went to a nearby resaturant for lunch. We had lunch next to a couple from South Africa. So we picked there brains about South Africa throughout the meal. Lunch was great. I had some more seafood.

After lunch we made our way back to Hanoi. Our group got split up and we went back in the van with the aforementioned families and four other people. At one point everyone fell asleep (except me, I couldn't sleep) and then the little boy, who hadn't made a sound through the entire two days, started to scream. And he screamed for a good ten minutes, which of course woke everyone up. Most people weren't too happy about that. Other than that the ride back was uneventful.

We were dropped off at our hotel and made plans to meet up with the folks from NY for supper. But first, we wanted to shower and relax for a bit. We left our hotel with lots of time because we wanted to find an Internet cafe to call home, but we couldn't. Actually, the one we did find wouldn't let us use Skype.

We met up with the folks from NY and had a very nice relaxing dinner. The only downside to this was the restaurant was playing an ABBA CD and we kept hearing, "Happy New Year" all the time. We also heard it around town almost everywhere we went. I think it has replaced Auld Lang Syne for me. I heard it so much this year.

After dinner we tried to find another Internet cafe or some shampoo, but again our search turned up nothing. Eventually we just went back to the hotel and went to bed. Hello 2007.

Posted by agc_cwm 19:57 Archived in Vietnam

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