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.
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.
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.
It was a slow day to begin with; we didn’t even leave the hotel until after lunch. Sometimes you need to rest and recharge, and I guess this was one of those days. We didn’t have anything on the agenda until the evening, so the day was ours to wander around, and we did.
Just a heads up — we will be a combination of places where there might not be internet for almost a week, so don’t worry if there aren’t any posts. We are having a great time in Vietnam so far and will be back soon.
I woke up to some sort of announcement on a megaphone at 6:45 a.m.. Then there was another at 7. Clearly noise ordinances aren’t a thing here in Hanoi. I joked with Sal that they were probably saying, “OK, now let’s get the honking going again!”, because soon after the traffic noises got going. Oh, Hanoi!
We got up and had breakfast in the room on the top floor of the building. Sal’s coffee shot:
We got up, had breakfast, and checked out. We didn’t see kitty again, but I had left some meat out for her the night before. Hopefully she got it because a) it was raining very hard, and b) I don’t like to think I accidentally fed the snake. They had us hit the gong once for ‘goodbye’ and away we went back on the boat to the mainland. We had the same efficient boat driver who helped us find our taxi and got us on our way. This time our driver was very cautious and there wasn’t any music. He was also more expensive. Safety has a price, and that price is 150 baht.
Because we did almost nothing for four days (and it was bliss), I’m condensing everything into one post. I’m doing this the same way I did the Wakatobi post, with a few comments/pics.
⅓ of Naka Island is owned by the resort. They have bikes that you can use to ride around and go to a nice-ish beach, or explore the nearby village. We didn’t do that. It was either hot & humid, or I was lazy. I just wanted to relax. Our villa was number 45, which had the best view, but out of 60-something villas was the 3rd furthest away from the restaurants. It was still under a 10 minute walk, with a couple small inclines. They had golf cart transfer service that we used at the beginning of the stay until I figured out we really weren’t that far away.
As luck would have it, our flight to Phuket was a little after 6AM, which meant the cab had to get us at 4:30 a.m. We had not gotten to bed early the night before; there were occasional firecrackers from the festival and we had come back later than expected thanks to the goofed up dinner. Ah well. We could catch a nap on the plane.