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Archive for November 10th, 2018

A little language information to begin … Vietnamese is a mono-syllabic language. That means they write their words in single syllables. For instance, we write Vietnam — in Vietnamese it is written Viet Nam. Therefore, I wrote it Ha Long above to try to be as correct as possible. Of course, I have problems with English so I may not do very well with my Vietnamese either. Haha.

On Day 10 we drove from Hanoi to Hai Phong to embark on Orchid Cruise lines for a 3 day, 2 night excursion in Ha Long Bay. We used the new toll road — it was excellent; just the right amount of rest stops. Haha.

What to say about this portion? The crew were just absolutely incredible–friendly, attentive, and well-motivated. They made this a fantastic trip. It was jam-packed, non-stop though from the beginning. We arrived on the cruise ship and sped away to our anchoring locale (see video below for a little clip of the trip). We immediately joined a group on a cave tour on Cat Ba island.

After that outing, we joined in on a cooking demonstration that evening. We learned how to make Spring rolls! Both Deb and I had the chance to roll our own. Yeah!

Deb finished off the day with a swim and we knew we would be busy the rest of the time!

The next morning, we joined the Tai Chi class at 0615. Wow. Early! We had some breakfast, jumped on the accompanying “ship tender” and cruised back over to Cat Ba island. We took a short bike ride to the interior to visit a local farm and village. We had great weather the whole time. On our way back to the ship we stopped for a little kayaking and then a late lunch.

Back on board, we joined the cooking class again. More spring rolls! Yes .. The food was excellent and abundant the entire trip.

The next morning we were up early again for Tai Chi … a quick breakfast and then we were on our way back to the harbor to continue this excellent adventure.

Stumbling Piper

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Today we drove back from Topas Ecolodge to Hanoi … we came back the same way, via the toll road, so I caught up on “photo organization” on my iPad. When we arrived in Hanoi we checked back into the Silk Path Boutique hotel and waited for our excursion for the evening: A Vespa Adventure! 🙂 Tonight’s fun was another foodie tour … this one on the back of a moped.

Check out the video below for a feel for riding around the Old Quarter in Hanoi. The guys at Vespa Adventures put on a great evening for us — from eating Bun Cha at the same location Obama visited to learning to toast in Vietnamese while drinking Rice Wine by the train track …

We closed out the evening with a stop at a local jazz bar for some live music. A great way to finish out our time in Hanoi!

Stumbling Piper

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