Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The Dragon Bay...AKA a bunch of real pretty rocks
For our next-to-last weekend adventure, Doannie and I left Hue and headed for Ha Noi via Ha Long Bay. Hue had really started to feel like home and we were sad to say goodbye to our Vietnamese teacher, to the medical students, and most of all to his family. After three nights in a row of big sendoff dinners, we reached our first snag of the whole trip...our flight to Ha Noi was canceled. Which was not a big deal, but a big inconvenience as we missed our Saturday morning departure to Ha Long Bay, Vietnam's candidate for the new 7 Wonders of the Natural World (http://www.new7wonders.com/nature/en/nominees/asia/c/HaLongBayBay/). We eventually made it there Saturday night, but not before spending a hairy evening in an old Soviet style hotel that Vietnam Airlines put us up in and braving 3 buses and 1 boat on public transportation to meet up with our tour group.
We were rewarded with hundreds of limestone karsts - really large and beautiful rocks jutting up out of the sea. Vietnamese legend holds that dragons sent by the gods spit out these jewels of jade to create a wall of resistance against the Chinese. They certainly were mythical, shrouded in mist and rain and hiding secret caves. After a tour of the bay on an old junk and a kayak around the karsts, we retired to our beachfront bungalow on a private island. Why can't we have weekend getaways like this when working in Boston?