After the nightmare which was Hanoi, we set off for our three day cruise around the world heritage site of Halong Bay. The reason why Halong Bay is listed as a world heritage site is due to the stunning scenery. (see pics). First day on the boat there was us, a Dutch couple and an Australian lady with her six year old son. Later on that night we got talking to the Dutch couple who told us about a ten day retreat which (to us) sounds very appealing.
The retreat takes place in a monastry in Thailand, for ten whole days you are not allowed to speak or make eye contact with any other person. The only contact you are allowed is with the master, and it is up to him to speak to you, you are not allowed to speak to him. The master is a Buddist monk who teaches you how to meditate and deal with stress etc. P.S We are thinking about having a quite one this xmas, if you don't hear from us for ten days, you know where we are...............
The second day we wen't sea kayaking to explore the beutiful lime stone cliffs that are dotted all around the bay. As we were rowing flying fish were jumping around the kayak, it was lovely. Later on that day we wen't for a short trek through Cat Ba Island national park where James had a couple of close encounters with the local buffalows. James thought he was Mick Dundee (Crockodile Dundee) and tried to hypnotise them so we could pass safely, they just looked at him licking their lips (see pics). We also visited a local Vietnamese farming family, where we were entertained with a song by their lovely little five year old daughter; Mihn, named after Ho Chi Mihn.
We spent the night on Cat Ba Island drinkink the local beerhoi before setting off in the morning back to Hanoi for one more night before catching the early morning flight down the coast to Hoi An. We could not face the sixteen hour bus ride.
Update soon Danielle & James *******************************