- awesome punny drunk guy in my dorm
Hanoi! It's where I'm at RIGHT NOW, which means for the first time since my trip started I'm not 2 weeks behind on posting.
So Hanoi is pretty nice and chaotic... like a smaller Ho Chi Minh City. There are lots of lakes around, which I explored via bicycle. I even saw a water puppet show that was pretty entertaining (the art was created when the rice fields would flood. They made really elaborate puppets that float in the water and the scenes often depict daily life). There are also tons of war remnants - downed B52s, missiles, grenades, etc and this also happens to be the place of Ho Chi Minh's final resting.
[sidenote: all my links generally take you to wikipedia because a. it's the first thing that pops up when I google things b. I like wikipedia and c. I'm too lazy and technologically out of date to doing some real good internet surfing so deal with it]
|Ho Chi Minh Museum|
An explanation (if you can call it that) was next to this:
Weird, right? Overall, I learned virtually nothing of Ho Chi Minh's life or importance, but left rather stunned and confused. It was interesting, to say the least. There were also a few other fun surprises I found in the museum, too:
|ahaha shat down. Yay maturity.|
|I know this man well! This is Sukhbaatar, the famous Mongolian Hero who my province was named after. This pin was a gift to Ho Chi Minh from the country of Mongolia.|
|B52 (or part of it at least)|
|Wreckage soon to be on display at the new museum|
Day 1 included amazing food, a trip to the largest cave, some kayaking, and some socializing on the boat.
|View from my room on the boat. Not too shabby.|
|The boat, herself! There were 10 others on the boat from a variety of places: Holland, Spain, England, and Vietnam|
|The cave was a little goofy in that they had decorative lights everywhere, but it made for some pretty cool pictures.|
On our second day, we went to Cat Ba National Park, where there were some trekking options available. Most people said no, because it looked like rain, but me and a few other youngins, who haven't accepted our own mortality yet, thought they were wusses and went up anyhow.
Oh dear god.
The trail quickly disintegrated and became, more or less, straight rock climbing. No one could go in without a guide and our guide truly believed he was a monkey. As we teetered perilously on what he assured us was the trail, he grabbed vines and swung in front of us or, worse, jumped from rock to unstable rock in order to help us climb through the jungle.
Very soon, it started to rain. Very soon after that, it started to pour. Very soon after that, we were drenched to bone and lost virtually all visibility. But did we turn around and go back? Oh heck no. Monkey Man wouldn't allow it. After 30 minutes of scaling slick wet boulders, we arrived at the top - which was glorious, as you can imagine.
|That weird hump on my side is my camera, which I was protecting with my life.|
Back on the boat, we cruised in and out of bays before docking at an AWESOME private island, complete with bungalows, buffets, kayaks, sunsets, and vicious monkeys.
|Forgive me, but almost all the islands in the distance reminded me of the Ocean Temple in Majora's Mask.|
|Ha! Look at that!|
|Top of the Boat|