Da Lat, Masterpiece Trip 2017, Vietnam

Got Milk? (Da Lat Day One)

First an apology for these posts being late. We have had sketchy WiFi some places, and also have been a bit sick. Now back to our regularly scheduled program!

We woke up and gradually got moving. I don’t know about Sal, but the longer this trip is going the harder I’m finding getting up early. I’m a bit pooped. It must mean it’s almost time to go home.

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Masterpiece Trip 2017, Vietnam

What The?! Part II (Hanoi -> Da Lat Transfer Day)

No sleeping in today as we had to our transfer to Da Lat. We had our breakfast, finished packing, then checked out. It was bittersweet saying goodbye for good to the La Selva staff.  Hopefully some day we will be back. I gave them some small gifts from NYC as a thank you. They gave us a gift of some Vietnamese coffee and the strainer they use to drip the coffee. Our transfer was right on time and we were at the airport sooner than we expected. Pretty soon we were checked in and through security. The only noteworthy thing seen was this in the bathroom:

I put the text through translate and it came back, “give peace and love”. With tissue? Do they think Westerners gift each other with tissue and toilet paper often?

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Hanoi, Masterpiece Trip 2017, Ninh Binh, Pu Luong, Vietnam

A Pagoda & Train Travel (Pu Luong -> Ninh Binh -> Hanoi Transfer Day) A Pagoda & Train Travel (Pu Luong -> Ninh Binh -> Hanoi Transfer Day)

Sal made a prophetic comment the day before, “We need to go to bed early, because we passed a lot of roosters.” Boy was he right. Those jerks wake you up at 5:30 a.m. Crikey! It’s impossible to fall back asleep then because everything else starts waking up then: dogs, people, etc.. Like I said: noise really carried in that valley. You know who else woke up? The guys playing the drums. They started drumming before 8 AM. Talk about perseverance…


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Masterpiece Trip 2017, Mia Chau, Pu Luong, Vietnam

Chopsticks & Rice Terraces (Mai Chau -> Pu Luong Transfer Day)

We got to sleep in a bit, as the next place we were visiting, Pu Luong, was only about 90 minutes away from Mai Chau. My stomach was bothering me. When traveling like this it’s very hard to pinpoint if you’re fighting something off or ate something bad. I may have been dehydrated. Anyway, it wasn’t good so I took some medicine and hoped for no squatty potties if we didn’t make it to the hotel in time!

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Masterpiece Trip 2017, Mia Chau, Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Bad Juju (Ninh Binh -> Mai Chau Transfer Day)

We woke up early and stiff from the bed. Sal felt a little better, though, so that was good. We had banana pancakes for breakfast, which is fried dough with bananas and honey. It was yummy.  

img_20171117_0753401243699209653645528.jpgOf course there was fresh fruit because there’s always fresh fruit. You can’t beat the fresh fruit on this side of the planet.

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Halong Bay, Masterpiece Trip 2017, Ninh Binh, Vietnam

You Had Me At Hello (Halong Bay -> Ninh Binh)

Breakfast was at 6:45 a.m., as we had our last ½ day on the boat and had things to do! Apparently there was only one new 2-night guest, so he would be enjoying a private day tour with Henry. We laughed when we thought about how potentially awkward the ‘talk’ with Henry might be when he explained how the tips worked.

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Halong Bay, Masterpiece Trip 2017, Vietnam

What The?!? (Halong Bay Day One)

I woke up at 1:00 a.m.. It only took a few seconds to figure out why I was awake: the air conditioning had stopped. I was a sweaty Betty. It was like a little hot box in there. The rooms do not have fans, so you have to totally rely on the air conditioning. I gave a huge sigh and realized Sal was awake, too, when he asked what was the matter. We talked about what to do, and while we were talking someone tried to enter our room. What the?! It scared the you-know-what (crap) out of me. Sal yelled, “Hello?” and nobody said anything. I went over to the peephole to look out, and saw that the peephole doesn’t work at all. I told you this boat needs a bit of a refurbish.

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Halong Bay, Masterpiece Trip 2017, Vietnam

Introduction to Another UNESCO World Heritage Site (Hanoi -> Halong Bay Transfer Day)

This was a transfer day that didn’t involve a plane, which is a nice change to waiting at an airport and dealing with delays, etc. Cars are less stressful if you follow one simple rule: don’t watch the driving/traffic. The car was on time and there were six of us going to Halong Bay — a Canadian couple and a couple from Barcelona. This would be quite the international cruise! But before we talk about the boat, how was the traffic getting to Halong Bay? Oh, about as you’d expect

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Hanoi, Masterpiece Trip 2017, Vietnam

Flowers, Bridges, & Missing Trains (Hanoi Day Four)

When we first checked into the hotel they had told us specifically about two tours: one food tour and one early morning flower market tour. We had already scheduled a food tour and we debated for several days on whether we should do the flower market tour. The problem was it started at 5:30 a.m., because the flower market is from midnight until 6 a.m.. With only one day left, we decided to bite the bullet and do the tour. They were a bit surprised. It ended up being a private tour, because nobody really wants to get up at the buttcrack of dawn. No sane people, at least.

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