Saturday, September 10, 2011

Asia Part 3

Hi de ho campers, right you set for another one of my ramblings boring as shite stuff you know lol!? Hope so :O)

Okay so after tubing in Vang Veing, we took a long bus journey to a little place called Vientiane. Unfortunately we never got to go out to Buddha Park which was pretty darn gutting becuase the weather was pretty crap. We heard that poor Vang Veing was under water after we left becuase of the rain levels. Not completely but there was a large amount of flooding and with our rooms so close to the river we would of had it at our door. 
Instead we pretty much just used the time to relax. Becuase Sandra had lost her camera on the tubing Sandra, Haley, Ash and I all took a walk to an electronice shop to look at cameras for her. Also wondered into another couple shops. We really were just stopped over night in this little city so just lazed around. 

In the morning we all got packed again and were driven out to the local airport where we jumped on a plane and flew from Vientiane to Hanoi in Vietnam. Dodgy little plane but we all go there in one piece and thats the main thing. In Hanoi we discovered what it was like to be on really busy roads in Asia. As we were driving from the airport to our hotel, it started to rain & witnessed all these scooters pulling over to put on their ponchos. Most of the houses/buildings in Hanoi are really skinny. 
I think there was some sorta regulation on this. Anyways our hotel was a little wider than this. But the room Sandra and I were in was on a slant. Funny stuff. I went out wandering with Ashlee and everyone sorta did there own thing. The next day we all made the journey from Hanoi out to Halong Bay. We learnt the awesome saying "Same Same But Different" - meaning things like a word that has the same spelling but means different things. But it applies to many other things. The English language is great for having words that are said the same sometimes even spelt the same but have entirely different meanings. We spell it Hanoi they spell it Han oi. We spell it Halong Bay they spell it Ha Long Bay. Just like we spell it Vietnam they spell it Viet Nam. Same same but different principle applies here. It was often applied to money or an item you were trying to buy one of better quality, the other of lesser but the same thing. They were trying to make a sale with the saying Same Same. But Different - yeah not gunna work ladi. 
Anyways bit of useless knowledge there.In Ha Long Bay we arrived to intense heat it was lovely and sunny. We all signed our name and birth year and boarded our Junk pictured above (cant move it below sorry). We climbed onboard to take our boat ride out the the famed limestone karsts OR in plain English mountians coming up out of the water that look real real pretty. We learned that Ha Long Bay means Decsending Dragon Bay we were then informed that there were 1,969 islands dotted around the place (even though Wiki tells you 1,960) 69 being a lucky number for those in Vietnam. Apparently only 989 have been given names, annnnyyyywho I found it interesting so I wanted to share the boringness with you because Ha Long Bay was something that I can now cross off my Bucket list. Well so we cruised along the ocean with all the other Junks around. We were given lunch onboard the Junk and were treated like kings and queens by the staff onboard he boat. Was really lovely to be out on the water like that. 

In the afternoon we got out to our first stop Hang Sung Sot Caves (Cave of Surprises). Its a really awesome place to go visit if you ever get a chance. So we berth the boat and make our hike up to the entrance of the first cave, But before we go in, here people is the view from the top:
Stunning dont cha think?

In the first cave it was pretty impressive all lit up in different colours to grab your attention. 

The second cave was much larger again and I was blown away by it, they really are impressive large caves I reckon. 
 Unfortunately you cant tell how large this cave is from my photos but you could fit a good thousand people in the cave.
Then it was time for the cave we had been told about the Cave of Surprise. We walked through a tunnel then down a few steps and came around a corner to find this greeting us:
Yes good people they do call it what you think it is A big Finger pointing to the celing..... What did you think it was? ......... Oh you dirty person you :O)
This cave was the biggest of the 3, it could house thousands and thousands of people. It was beautifully stunning too. There are water pools around, there is a foot path (about 500m) you follow around the cave, various spots are lit up with different colours and its very high. I loved this cave the most:
Amazing old man face rock formation
So you can get some idea of the size you can see all the way down the footpath. But it opens up quite a bit.
Needless to say I thought the caves were amazing. The trip out to them was also pretty darn stunning if you ask me. Ha Long Bay definately a place to go visit in your lifetime :O) After the caves, we made our way back down to the boat and motored out to a place to anchor so some of the people could go kyacking. Dont know why I didnt, think the heat was doing me in and I was really hoping to take a swim instead. However we were informed that No your not allowed to swim here sorry BUMMER :( So instead Lisa, Trev and I all sunbathed on the top deck of the boat. Talk about complete opposite to how I was feeling regarding the heat. But if you cant beat it you may as well join it right? I had alot of water with me and only did it in intervals, plus yes I had sunblock on. What a fat load of use sunblock is in Asia. Actually no let me refrase that you put sunblock on yourself and becuase of the heat it just slid off. After the others came back from their kyack, we all puttered around slowly to where we would be spending the night. We were puttering along between all the beautiful karsts that were dotted along the way as the sun was setting.
When we arrived, we had a delicious meal and then relaxed by finally getting a swim in the ocean. Jumping off the side of the boat into beautiful waters that were also warm was divine. Only downside was I got itchy from sealice. I never got anything other than feeling itchy but I couldnt work it out. But either way it was heapsa fun jumping off a boat into the water. We did it on our own, and as groups. Trevor even went right up to the very top of the junk and did a jump from there. There were a total of 3 levels on the junk, I think it was either 8 or 9m above water but I could be slightly wrong. Not sure may of been less? Maybe More?

After a swim went back to my cabin & into the bathroom to shower and get ready for the evening. While I was in there taking off my togs, a massive arse spider ran down the wall right beside me and then proceeded towards my feet sooooo naturally I screamed. Becuase when I say massive, I mean the size of a dinner plate massive. Then of course I scooted towards to toilet to get away from the darn thing and it kept following, so like the special retard I am I jumped up on the toilet. THIS coming from the girl who has NEVER been afraid of a spider in her whole life. This coming from a girl who used to have a pet Avondale spider named Big Foot. This coming from a girl who loves spiders?!?!?!? But also coming from a girl who has spent 2 weeks in Asia, where the creepy crawlies were extra creepy, and extra dangerous. So I think I can be forgiven for screaming & jumping up on the toilet seat when the thing was going to eat me for dinner. And to proove how big it was, so Im not just making things up. I went out of the cabin to go get my tour leader Aaron, who has been in and out of Asia for the last 9yrs or something like this, so is used to EVERYTHING! He went into my cabin saw the size of the spider, and was like 'shit that is big Im not going near that' as he rushed out of my room and down to the back of the boat for the captian. EVEN THE CAPTAIN thought it was big, but obviously it didnt phase him, and he picked it up on somehting and threw it over board. So there, even the Captain who lives in Asia thought it was big :o) I still felt stupid for screaming at a spider and jumping on the toilet seat. When meerly a few hours before Haley and Ashlee had one in their room, which Bob directed outside the cabin. I went round to see it and saw the big spider they had in their room, which was also large. By the time I got there it was out of the room, but on the railing scittering towards me at full tit, I just directed it over the side of the boat. Now WHY was I not more afraid of that one when it was ok not as big, but very near it? Because my friends, Im just a special kind of person thats why lol! 

The rest of the evening we all just relaxed on the swaying boat in the dark, had a peaceful dinner and some delicious cocktails. Chatted and played card games for ages. And eventually decided it wastime for bed. I was worried I wouldnt get to sleep like I hadnt got to sleep on the swaying train between Bangkok and Chaing Mai but I got to sleep just fine. The heat probably wore me out.

In the morning I woke up bright and early to the sound of feet padding along the deck and then an almighty splash as Lisa, Amber and Haley all jumped into the water. Sandra got up, changed into her togs and went out to join them. I didnt for some reason, guess was still a bit sleep groggy and besides I was able to take photos that way. Afterwards made my way to the top deck to watch the sun rise (yes the girls got up round 6am but we were on holiday who cares). It ended up being another muggy, beautiful sunny day. It wasnt long before everyone was up, we were all seated eating breakfast and making our way back to shore. 

Needless to say HaLong Bay = Bliss & Beautiful 
You have to go

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