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Sat, 02. Sep 2006 13:40

Halong Bay

Mathias & Nina Halong Bay is advertised as one of Vietnams most interesting and beautiful landscapes. We booked a 2-day tour (the first time we actually booked a tour with a group) in Hanoi.

After a 170km bus ride we boarded the ship on which we should cruise for the next one and a half days. The landscape in Halong Bay is really fascinating: almost vertical rock walls rise from the sea level creating thousands of mini-islands.

Some of the islands form enclosures that only can be reached through caves. We paddled into one of these lakes with a kajak which was really quiet and peaceful until we were joined by a jet-ski. :-(

On the way we visited a quite impressive stalactite cave ("Tropfsteinhoehle"), but unfortunately we weren't the only ones visiting the cave that day.

Back in Hanoi we treated ourselves to a water puppet show. Water puppets are part of northern Vietnamese tradition, the puppets were originally played in rice paddies during the monsoun season. The puppet players stand up to the waist in the water and handle the puppets in front of them through long bars under water. The stories told in the play were about the daily life of Vietnames farmers, traditional legends or the four Vietnamese holy animals (turtle, phoenix, dragon and lion).

Tonight we are heading north to the Chinese boarder (10 hours by train). From there we will hopefully catch a train (17 hours) to Kunming or we have to the trip by bus. The next blog entry will be from China!