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Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Cave

Stumbling through the labyrinth of narrow, narrow streets, each one more similar than the last, in the wee hours of the morning, we randomly chose the Fortuan Hotel as home for the next few days. Seemingly staffed by people from the Basil Fawlty school of hoteliery we spent most of our time there trying to fend off one iteration of Manuel after the next!

Hanoi itself is essentially in a permanent state of rapid gridlock with motorbikes, cars, bicycles and people weaving in and out of each other. Closing your eyes and using the Force is really the only way to navigate from one footpath to the next. And even then you've got to move back onto the road as the footpaths are actually used as convenient motorbike parking spaces!

The big thing that we wanted to see around Hanoi was Ha Long Bay, which is where they might have shot 'The Man With The Golden Gun' - but didn't (it was filmed somewhere in Southern Thailand I think!). Unfortunately this involved boats and I've got a bit of a Mr. T-esque thing with boats instead of planes (he's becoming a little bit of a mascot for this trip!) so the fear was starting to grow little by little as the harbour loomed into view.

One delicious glass of milk later found us adrift amongst the vast expanse of wee islands in the bay. Seemingly there are over two thousand islands, nine hundred of them named, strewn across the seascape. Our guide for the trip pointed out some of the more funky ones; one shaped like a duck, one like warring giants and another like a rock. A relaxing way to while away a few hours and luckily for me, remarkably calm!

The highlight of our two days spent as pirates aboard the junk (not named for any resemblance to the classic Chinese boats ;) was when we pulled ashore on a large island with two HUGE caves! These caves were so good that I'm going to break my traditional blog style of no pictures, other than Beakerludes, and show y'all the amazing lighting that they had set up!

Tomorrow we set sail for Hong Kong (by train!) - Yeargh me hearties!


  • Hey there, glad to see you're back on the auld blog -- we thought you didn't make it to HG -- ha!ha! Really good photos - the colours are great --.

    By Blogger fennellfamily, at 3:15 p.m.  

  • Hi there,
    on our way to Hanoi what did you realy think of the Fortuan Hotel?

    Mark DOT andrews AT xtra DOT co DOT nz

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:31 a.m.  

  • What beautiful pictures! That place must be amazing.

    By Blogger Freudian Slip, at 1:46 a.m.  

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