Yay! A small nod towards both the scam friendly-ness of the vietnamese and the movie. Yippee. I feel better now. Kinda. We’re stuck in Haiphong after a very random ferry ride from Cat Ba Island (which is in the rather lovely looking Halong Bay) and are currently trying to get somewhere, anywhere that’s more exciting, less dodgy and less smelly.
We headed over to Halong Bay 2 days ago (flight to Hanoi and then a bus to Halong City, then a junk to a small island with some limestone caves, then another junk to the top of Cat Ba island and then a bus to Cat Ba town) and it’s amazing. Totally one of the natural wonders of the world but it’s been grey, rainy and miserable. Neither of us has been happy about it either and there has been much grumpiness. Well there was until we got to Cat Ba town which is lovely, really good little vibe to it. We also managed to find a hotel for $7, exceptionally dodgy shower but you can’t really complain for $7. So we managed to eat dinner and then go for a couple of drinks in a funky bar and then we went to sleep early planning on a day with nice weather and doing loads of stuff.
The weather didn’t oblige.
Then we got a boat to Monkey Island (scammed again by a man showing us a picture of the boat – beautiful with sails and seating) and we were presented with a glorified bath tub with a couple of wooden planks. Took us 55 mins to get to Monkey Island too and by the end of it I’d lost all feeling in my arse. On the plus side, we saw monkeys the minute we got off the boat even if we did get scammed for the 20,000 dong it cost to be on the island that was supposed to be included in our trip on the comfortable boat. Sigh.
Headed back and had a bowl of the weirdest Pho I’ve had yet. And then we got the bus-boat-bus to Haiphong City. It was very real (TM Stu). And then we got to Haiphong and discovered that the next bus to Nimh Binh is at 6:30. AM. So we have a $9 hotel room (very clean) and the snazziest internet cafe I’ve seen in a long while. Will be off to brave the mean streets of Haiphong in search of food in a minute. This should be interesting.
I have also managed to have an accident with my backup pair of glasses and now have no glasses. I’m not sure what to do, Cambodia is apparently very dusty and is not friendly to contact wearers and I hate wearing lenses every single day, even if they are quite comfy ones.