A world heritage recognised site, Ha Long bay does not dissapoint. A scintilating series of lime stone islands combine with turquoise water to create something very special. Steeped in myth, legend has it that a Dragon created Ha Long bay to keep the chinese from invading Vietnam with boats. Whilst not geologically correct I think its a perfectly admirable explaination for the landscape.

We left Ha long city on a mod-con equipped boat, little did we know of the cunning pun this entailed. After some very lazy cruising and photo snapping we stopped for lunch. We had a meal of it. The first hint of a con was our devoted crew devouring 6 tables worth of two of our menu items. The zeal and laughter that accompanied this daring feat was admirable.

Compared with the wild caves of Laos the caves of Ha Long bay were very tame but still very picturesque all the same. The carved steps and artificial lighting made taking photos very easy.

After a short period kayaking we desperately needed a swim. The crew indulged us with what had to have been the craziest mass swimming location short of a small bath. Deep water it was but it was infested with ravenous jelly fish. In retrospect it should have been obvious when none of the crew swam but stood on the boat to laugh and point out over intensly amorous stinging jelly fish. One of our befriended tourists, Tom from Oregon managed to dive head first into a large one and wore wounds for the rest of the trip. Whilst I admire Toms efforts to make the page of my blog I wish it could have been under better circumstances, luckily he did not dissapoint.

As the sun went down a nice dinner was served. We all proceeded to get very merry. We managed to quaff ourselves to sleep before the kareoke carnage began. Tom managed to battle out some spoken word Vietnamese Folk pop. A true gentleman Tom also managed to drink himself into a bar tab dilema the next morning. It was by finding the jelly fish and scarcificing himself as the most likely target for bar tab fraud that Tom gained fame and top marks in my book.

The rest of our trip was thankfully uneventful, plenty more good photo opportunities and a delightful lunch at a resturant in Ha Long city. All in all a grand voyage full of tall tales, scandal and American heroics.

Footnote. Am having a devil of a time with the computer I am using here in Hue. I will add more photos soon. Never let pictures get in the way of a good story!