Tag Archive | "halong bay"

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Cat Tales: March 2012

Posted on 31 March 2012 by brett

The Face Mask

The Face Mask

March kicked off with several stops around Central and Northern Vietnam. We found it difficult to avoid the tourist track up the coast….. and, impossible to bond with the local people. Sapa promised a village getaway, but we found that it was super touristy and spoiled. In a sense, we wish we had alotted time for Southern Vietnam where the people are supposedly more cordial. In the end, we found positivity in Vietnam through meeting several new friends kayaking at Cat Ba Island.

Top 10 Vietnam Scams:
10) Woman puts heavy basket on our shoulders in hopes for a tourist photo and tip
09) Taxi driver tries to charge $15 instead of the $1.50 on the taxi meter for a simple 2km ride
08) Paying $.25 to pee outside on flat concrete flooring
07) Paying $1.00 for a wet towelette without telling us before the meal
06) Masseuse ends 60 minute massage at 45 minutes after changing a friends’ watch 15 minutes ahead
05) Paying for 2km taxi ride after charging us for 5km Continue Reading

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Cat Ba Island in Ha Long Bay

Posted on 07 March 2012 by christie

Cat Ba Island Kayaking

Kayaking Cat Ba Island

Ha Long Bay or “descending dragon bay” was the most anticipated leg of our trip to Vietnam. We had watched travel channel TV show hosts like Anthony Bourdain and Samantha Brown cruise around the 2,000 mystical limestone islet formations… while sipping gourmet cocktails and explaining why the area is so sacred to the local floating fishing village people. The zone has UNESCO World Heritage status and claims 20 million years worth of karst formation creating a tropical oceanic and sea shore bio-system. Ha Long Bay is home to 14 endemic floral species and 60 endemic faunal species. Legend says, the early Vietnamese people fought against invaders to settle the area. To assist in their defense, a family of dragons were sent by the gods for protection. Continue Reading

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