Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Magic & kayaking in Ha Long Bay

Today we left for Ha Long Bay at 8am after having booked it yesterday for £80. All I can say is - wow. Just wow. I mean, it was totally stunning and just, it was pretty perfect. There are close to 2000 islets/ limestone karsts in various sizes and shapes thingys. In a way, I’m kind of sad I’ve seen so many amazing sights whilst I’ve been out here because it detracts from the beauty of places like this. Woe is me hey. What a tough life. Too many beautiful sights.

It took four hours to get there. Everyone on our tour boat was great, we were happy because there wasn’t one person we disliked unlike the other trips we’ve been on, so it made it sad to think about saying our goodbyes. When on the boat, we went to the top deck laid on the deck chairs and sunbathed whilst the guys played fooseball but then the sun went in :(. It was still hot, just cloudy. We went into a cave and holy fudge was it beautiful. It was HUGE, and so impressive. It was a shame because none of the photos were coming out, not that they could do it justice, but I wish I could show someone or even attempt to explain it but it’s impossible. It was so sweaty walking up there, couldn’t wait to go swimming.

We were then taken to a ‘beach’… a 50m strip of sand with way too many people on, it was hilarious. The water was disgusting too, but the guys just played volleyball. We weren’t there long. We then went back to the boat for a ‘medium party’ before dinner to have some wine and dance. I tried a lot of food at lunch actually, everyone back home would be impressed. I tried tofu, fish, weird rice things and a few other things I’d usually never ever touch. I was proud of myself haha. Dinner wasn’t great though, so I got stale bread instead.

Afterwards, we begun really drinking. We played ‘loaded questions’ which was actually quite boring so I ended up going to the top deck alone, stepped over the barrier and just swung my legs over the edge having one of those laughing surreal moments where I’m like ‘Holy fuck, I’m in Vietnam, in Ha long bay, drinking vodka with the best people ever, how am I ever going to return to real life?’

Soon after, despite our tour guide yelling at us not to, a few of us stripped down and leapt into the water, it was literally so much fun. At one point, Jess on the top  deck said ‘I’ll give 100 USD to whoever jumps of the deck up here’, two of the guys stripped off and leapt in, the guide went mental and threw a stool at one of their heads in the water before helping them out. We were in hysterics. He wasn’t hurt, just shocked, but it was so funny. Despite his anger, we really wanted to go back out.

Around 2:30am, whilst lots of the others had gone to bed, Jess, Emily and I all went in and just swum round in the warm rain. The water was a perfect temperature, it was a full moon, and a storm was around us in the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. It was such a surreal moment and I’d live it all over again if I could. I was just so happy. I mean, I felt bad for the tour guide, stressing him out, and breaking all the rules that you’re really not supposed to do, but that’s what made it more fun. It was just crazy. When you looked round you could see flying fish everywhere, one hit me in the face and it was just hilarious. But the lightening kept getting a lot closer, so we had to get out, we were pulled up by some Vietnamese man who dragged us, so I have cuts on my knees, but it was a long way to be pulled up. 100% worth it. I realised I had my ipod on me though, so I broke that. No music on this trip. WAHHH.

Eventually, around 3:30am finally went to bed after having a chat with Ben and Dylan in their room for a bit. It was just an amazing night.


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Day 2: Kayaking Adventures.
Waking up at 6:45am was not my idea of fun… I’m coping well though, I don’t get hangovers anymore despite drinking far more. I've also learnt to handle lack of sleep a lot better. Training me up for university! Breakfast was good this morning, I ate an egg again, be proud, be proud. Had toast etc. Then it was really sad because we were so rushed we didn’t really get to say goodbye to the others who were staying 2 nights! We could only afford one, so we were quickly hustled onto a boat that took us kayaking.

It was a lot of fun, there wasn’t many places to go, but it was amusing despite just going in circles with the other girls and looking at the rock formations closer up. Again, another surreal moment (when am I not experiencing those though!).









Eventually we went back to the boat, did a quick cooking class on spring rolls, then ate them with some other food (yes, I actually ate it, vegetables and pork), and then got the bus back to Hanoi, crashed out for a bit then went out for dinner. Ha Long Bay was a great experience, a must do!

This evening, I wasn’t planning on going out, but at 9pm I decided I was too bored to stay in so let Massato convince me to come to this live music bar and Emily agreed too. We had such a great time, it was just one of those nights where it’s perfect because it’s so chilled. I didn’t want to buy any drinks as I’d spent a lot of money recently, but in the end Massato bought Emily and I some drinks which was really kind of him. We had a hilarious chat, mainly about prostitution, spanking, choking etc. Oh and what a grand life Massato leads. He is a director, but mainly in Paris where he lives, but he did the XX ‘Crystallized’ music video and worked with Richard from the Verve.

He was telling us about his first main job for FHM whereby he just got to travel round for a few weeks with 6 of girls to photograph them etc. The funniest story was about the threesome he had in a hotel he was paid to live in for 4 months and the hotel staff came in to give him breakfast and he was just laying there with 2 girls… I couldn’t think of a better life for a guy haha. He said I could go stay at his place in Paris if I wanted - man I'd love to.

Another girl on the boat though, Jess, she’s worked on a lot of major films. She helped with Django unchained, Hunger Games, Crazy Stupid Love etc, just to name a few. That means she’s been in the same room as Ryan Gosling and Leonardo Decaprio. WTF. Insanely jealous. Her brother, who was also on the boat, kissed Katy Perry at the NFL finals haha. Interesting bunch of people we met! (As always).

Anyway, back to the bar. We sat on the streets on the tiniest stall ever just chatting, laughing and having a wonderful time but then it was closed down at midnight by the police which was a shame, so we wandered back slightly tipsy and I just crashed right out :).


Massato's Mark Walburg face haha.



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