Making stuff as a founder of Avocado. Former music-maker. Tuna melt advocate. Started Google Reader. (But smarter people made it great.)

The Boat, The Bath of Ha Long Bay

Majestic. Limestone jutting out from the green East Sea, a mist draped over a low gray sky as our Chinese junk sails slowly towards the caverns of Ha Long Bay. So... yeah, what did you do this Thurs.?

Sure, this is a well-worn tourist path. Perhaps Ha Long is considered the Alcatraz of North Vietnam. Nevertheless, taking a boat ride along Ha Long Bay and swimming in ~80 F salt water is an amazing experience and one I can't recommend highly enough.

Some tourist notes: We went with a Handspan tour, which we recommend. One of our hotels in Hanoi was the Ngoc Minh, which is extremely nice and friendly - air con, large rooms, balconies all for only $13 USD / day and beat the other places we looked at (about 5). It's not mentioned in LonelyPlanet so I thought, hey here's some food for the Googlebot. We decided to forego hotels that advertised internet access - this usually means dial-up and there's a DSL-based Internet Cafe on nearly every block. We didn't need breakfast-serving hotels either, there are far too many other interesting places to eat.

Mai is blogging this, too. Neat. But she's a terrible writer, so bear with her spare style and stilted prose. (Ow! Why'd you pinch me?)

Some other recommendations: The homemade apple / ginger juice at the Excel cafe is great. Don't take a taxi without a meter. See the rooms in hotels before paying for them. Don't ever walk behind bus stalls. (Trust me.)

Funny stuff: Wearing my Google T-Shirt at SFO. The bag checker said, "Google, eh? Hmm, guess I'll have to search you."

Comedians take note. Your new competition works in the travel sector.

posted at September 9, 2004, 8:40 PM


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