Post # 70 Hon Gai Halong Bay

Day 83 997 days to go. Distance today 26km total 4909km . It’s 4.48pm Tuesday 21/2/2012 Hon Gai (Halong City). I was only looking for a WC so I could stop and do my post for the day over sunset. Yes you read right. It’s perfect blue skies this afternoon just t-shirt weather and soooooo yummy. I can feel the body soaking it up as I type. Anyway the urgency was worth buying a coffee. I’m right on the waterfront on the other side of the bridge after spending an awesome couple of hours pottering around the Vietnamese side of town away from the tourist focus. It was just nice to be out and active amongst it so I thought I’d head back over the bridge and see whats about. I firstly sent my next ritual postcard to my buddy Robbie C x I ended up a working class district with the best market. Of course stop time. I had only just started looking and this woman from a shop came up showing me a card with ‘how old are you?’ written on it in english. How totally random. Well that was the start of chaos. Bugger minding the shops it was ‘check out the Aussie’ o’clock. In no time a dozen women were around asking questions for a younger woman who could speak ‘so so’ english to translate. These were her words when I commended her on her English which she learnt in high school. Her name is Do Thu Ha and she is 30 years old with a 9 year old boy who’s smart but a bit lazy. She’s given me her address and asked for me to write her a letter. She doesn’t understand computers or email. Anyway…. chat chat chat laugh giggle poke slap awesome and on it went for over an hour. I tried to take a photo but they all scattered in hysterics. Do hung around with some convincing so at least I have one picky. It felt like an outing with the girls and I loved it. I bought bickies and coffee from Do’s shop to thank her for her translations. Now back to where I started. When I came out of the markets it was blue and hot and it was really startling how changed and beautiful the weather was. Perfect timing for sunset o’clock but I really had to go to the loo. Ive been acting on my sisters advice to drink more water to stop the Miss Piggy blow outs on rest days, so the bladders working overtime. As I said the urgency was worth a coffee so I stopped at this cafe which doesn’t sell coffee. Stubborn Vietnamese always wanting to do their own thing. Sounds like someone else I know all too well 🙂 I showed the lady the coffee sachets I just bought and offered to buy a glass of ‘sow’ (hot water). It was a freebie and now I’m sitting in her cafe with wifi on the water posting to you fine people sipping my coffee bought from Do’s shop watching a sunny sunset over Halong Bay. How good can it get!!!!!!!!!! Photo time. Oh and by the way I haven’t even got onto the boat trip today. This part of the world is crazy postcard beautiful. I know I use that word freely but with all due respect it really is. I have noticed voting forms about with ‘vote Halong Bay as a new natural wonder of the world.’ Does anyone know anything about this? It was overcast but it didn’t stop getting a feel for how magical this area is. Apparently it’s only the start of things now to come heading up into southern china. Enjoy the photos as much as I did taking them. It was like our private cruise. There were only four other people on the boat that could have held 400. I found a possie on top and soaked in every bit of delish. The scenery just got better and every angle you looked there was something else to enjoy. The bay is very busy with tourism and fishing industry. Nothing ugly about it. Quite the contrary good to se it working for the people and economy. Heaps of other tourist boats like hundreds and lots of trawlers and other fishing boats even rub a tub tubs. Market folk are busy with their vending stalls on water. I bought my first mango and slopped it all over me for breaky. The fishing industry is farmed as well as caught and ranges from huge containers transporting supplies from the farms to small time fishing boats. These mostly work from the floating Villages amongst the rocks. Always soaring overhead the peaks are sea eagles which I managed to grab a photo of. It was wonderful and a must do that I’m so glad I did. Tomorrow is a bus to this side of the border where I’ll stay one more night and cross the border with the first full cycle day in China Thursday. Vietnam has slapped me about and I’m smiling with every bit of genuine respect for a country of folk that are annoyingly contagious. Time to enjoy the sunset. I’ll upload the photos after a Skype date with my partner at 7pm. Wonderful wonderful very cool indeedy awesome day!!!!! Point made 🙂 Talk soon x

Published by shecyclesolo

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.' H D Thoreau

6 thoughts on “Post # 70 Hon Gai Halong Bay

  1. Hi Maree greetings from Crystal Waters,
    it is so exciting to read your posts. as we have been to some of the places along your way I am reliving them through your adventure. thankyou for being so brave to do it all on a bicycle. Halong Bay was one of our favourite places; afraid we were some of those tourists you managed to get away from today. being out on the bay overnight in one of those boats was awesome. we loved the stillness and gentle movement of the water, a treat after all the noise that life in a place like Vietnam brings with it. you are right the people are so friendly and love it when you take some time to stop and chat. Katya (13) just said it would be really hard to completely avoid meat in an asian country when you can’t speak the language. she also asked if you are going on a boat trip. time will probably not allow you to do this??
    before I forget I want to let you know about another friend of ours from the Mary Valley who is doing a similar journey to you. similar but totally different: Ron Fellows used to be our mobile mechanic in the Conondale area. he is almost 70 and is – now get this- riding his 100 years old ‘FN’ a belgian four cylinder motorbike from Katmandu to Belgium. he started early Feb and is unsupported; sounds familiar? the first things that happened was that the clutch broke and he had to dismantle the bike by the road side. ( I guess he’s had lots of experience dismantling my Toyota in our drive way).
    if you want to check out his website just google ‘Old Bloke on a Bike’, his name is Ron Fellows. he is currently in India and so we are able to relive our recent trip to India through reading his blogs, we visited Sam in October last year remember he taught english to tibetan monks in a monastery in Himachal Pradesh. again we were the spoilt tourists of course. India is a facinating country and one day I’ll go back there. enough from me for one night. I think of you often and send you lots of energy and strength.
    cheers Gaby.
    PS we liked your (Maleny)Range News article and picture from Cambodia. “I know Maree” is what I told anyone who was prepared to listen; I am such a name dropper.

  2. Ree, love your shots of Halong Bay. So Beautiful………… mystical. It is easy to see how the dragon legends originated. Your postings and photos are giving us such a wonderful insight into your journey. Nana is thoroughly enjoying your postings too . She sends her love. xxx

  3. Right …I’m back on bord…I love ur back road stories,it adds to the adventure…getting lost is very interesting ,but u always seem to come out on top…yah…..I really enjoyed reading the endangered primate rescue centre,loved..loved..loved it…monkeys in the fog… usual the description of forest and history was awesome …post 64…wow loved the butterflies,awesome .halong bay looked ancient and mystical in your photos…..loved also the legends of the area …I’m glad to hear that ruby was saved ..I thought horrible thoughts….sad to read no mention or photos of miss j and blue dog….ohh and maybe u should have bought a ..go girl..before u left,it would have made it easier to go on the side of the road…hehee.ohhhh the poems are great…xo

    1. hey there gorgeous woman and hello to the crew – i finally tracked down an internet cafe but no wifi so I cant update the post – it’s going to be tricvky now in china as the blog is blocked from the internet – but janet is trying nto get familiar with the blog so she may be able to copy my email updates into the blog when i get wifi access – well see but it great to hear from you and give my love to that crazy bunch at laurls – Miss Jane and bluedog are trying to learn manderin to help in communicate – its keeing them busy lol – their good as it Rube and I – we’re loving china but its so foreign and hard to travel through but its all part of a veru cool place talk soon x 🙂

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