Saturday, December 5, 2009

Halong Bay

~ ~ ~ sail on ~ ~ ~

I found out about Halong Bay just two days before I left Germany and thought I had found something rare and special. Well, that was the case. Back then didn't imagine though that there would be this much tourism going on...

The same morning - during the first (boring) minutes on a too small bus - I had decided to try to find me a bicycle after this short trip. Being on one of these tourist-boats, with happy, enthusiastic or nagging westerners (knowing I was one of them), only could confirm me in my decison.

(the day I posted this on flickr, I realized that I have a photo from the same spot as on the linked page above!:p)

day at halong bay

Cat Ba - the great rip-off

If you intend to ever go to Halong Bay, or especially Cat Ba, always know how much money you hand out. Some vendors tend not to give any change..... NO matter how much you gave them! It's almost hilarious.. I heard some stories like this and I made one experience myself.

Gladly I wasn't on the island for long.. only for a minute, to get me a bottled water. I gave the young lady my money, but her, being polite at first (saying thanks) & smiley, wanted to insist that the money I gave her was the adequate price (was about two Euros difference though).

~ ~ quiet waters ~ ~

girl with the wonderful smile

girl with the wonderful smile

Taken somewhere on a street in Hanoi... I saw her walking with her brother and an umbrella in her hand (to protect from the sun). Asked them for a picture, they both gave me the biggest smiles, and I walked my way. Turning around again and waving goodbye to both. Maybe two of the loveliest kids I've met on my journey, as I feel now... even if it was only such a short moment, but they just "aired" so much happiness and lovelieness...... which too made me happy even more that lovely noonday.

Unfortunately her brother was standing in the blazing sun, so I had to crop the photo this way..

A friends comment recently pointed me that she looks more like Chinese. I then concluded that maybe they were visiting relatives, so that their holidays explained their happiness...