Jesus Jane! Its called "Stu and Marcelles Big Trip" not "Jane Fest!" Just joking, its nice to hear from you and hear about how Bryn is getting on :o)
Well as you all know, we are in Hanoi. Our tour technically starts tonight, and we will be travelling by sleeper train to Hoi Ann tomorrow night.
We decided to go to Halong Bay for the night, as it wasn't included in our tour. We left our hotel room booked as it meant we could leave all of our stuff in it. After much deliberation about which of the 50 million tour companys to go with, we decided on Indochina Sails. It was a 3 hour drive to Halong Bay, but well worth it! The boat was beautiful! 3 floors; accomodation and dining. There were about 20 other guests on the boat with us which was a really good sized group. The rooms were lovely! Everything was catered for, robes, hairdryers, the works! On the first day we got a 7 course lunch! Little tastes of everything. The meal was going swimmingly, with the crew doing really well catering to a vegetarians needs - vegetarian spring rolls, crumbed tofu, creamy pumpkin soup, all garnished to the hilt! Until the grand finale...Stu had grilled fish with glass noodles and I was given a lovely big bowl of steaming, microwave cooked...Baked Beans...beautiful! We both got the giggles and just couldn't stop laughing. The crew all stood there and stared at me but I just couldn't stop...The anti climax of it all!
The scenery from the boat was breath taking! Many many limestone cliffs jutting out of blue water, Islands everywhere, just stunning! We went to a floating fishing village where 600 people lived. It was unbelivable! Some of them had pet dogs! Little kids would row up to our boat and try and sell us shells and stuff. We went to Ti Top Island and Stu and I spent the whole 2 hours in the water, it was our first swim of the whole holiday! That night there was the most amazing thunder and lightening storm! Pretty impressive from a boat in the middle of the water. For dinner Stu ate only meat and seafood...4 plates of it! Not a single vegetable! Pam are you proud? They made up for the baked bean incident by making me my own sperate meals, while everyone else had buffet. Pretty sweet. The next day we went to Surprise Cave which was pretty cool, a bit of a hike though! And then we ported back at Halong City, and came back to Hanoi yesterday afternoon.
The whole way to and from Halong, we had a guy in our van who was Thai, but had an american accent, and a erm...hired looking 'escourt'...and all he did was talk on his Blackberry about how Jean Claude Van Damn (or 'JC' to those who know him...) wanted to shoot a film at his beachhouse in Bangkok and how he was taking him there when he got back from Vietnam. I swear he rung every damn person he knew and told them! It was a tedious 6 hour round trip...Not a great claim to fame we decided...I mean, name one reputable, Jean Claude movie...And didn't he go to jail for beating his wife? Whaddaguy!
Anyway... the eating here has been unreal! We went to the flashest restaurant you have ever seen in your life the other night, and all up for entrees and drinks, it cost us about $30NZD. So cheap!
Last night we went to a couple of pubs...the first one was exactly like Watts Road, except everyone was older, and you had to pay for the beers...the 'band'...well...ummmm...the guiatarist, although flamboyant, seemed to think he was a lot better than he actually was, and had somehow convinced his band of this too. It was all very fast, with little feel and little actual talent. The bassist and the drummer kept a good back beat, but that was about it...
The second pub was called Seventeen Saloon, need I say anymore?? The bouncers all stood round with their thumbs in their belt loops, with cowboy hats and chaps on. The 'band' was a bit better this time. 2 female singers wearing little to nothing, but one of them could actually belt them out. We were waited on and Stu even got the eye from a couple of 'colourful' ladies. Needless to say we kept our distance. When the band finished they started thumping out very bad trance music, that was our cue to leave. I am feeling slightly worse for wear today as that was our first big night out in a while, and we are still on the Malaria pills which make 5 beers seem like 10! Excuses huh ;o)
We change hotels today, as our tour starts from a less flash one than the one we are currently in, so we are off to pack again.
Hope all is well with everyone, Lysh how was the date?
hi mummy (stu) and hi bry
Yep, thats your lot Pam and Bry! Lap it up!
Love and hugs to everyone!!!!
Marcelle and Stu
Sunday, June 29, 2008