Friday, July 20, 2007

Dragon Tales


So, let's see... last time we "spoke" we were just leaving Nha Trang for Hue. Well, Hue pretty much sucked. In a nutshell, we got screwed into getting up way too early, Kristelle burned her calf on a motorbike and we walked around in the sweltering heat for two hours trying to find the friggin citadel. When we finally found it, we were too hot and annoyed to really look around, so we were quite quick about it. That night, we took an overcrowded (as in, people sitting on stools in between the aisles of seats) 12-hour bus to Hanoi.

In Hanoi, we celebrated Kristelle's birthday in style. And by that I mean we went to the hospital to tend to her leg. The night was more stylish... we featsed on pizza and pasta (ooohh, so not Vietnamese!) and then hit a few bars with Matt, Callum and Roisin (our buddies from the sand dunes) where we enjoyed 65 000 dong vodka/pineapples. Yummy.

Yesterday morning, we left for a 2 day/1 night tour of Halong Bay. From Hanoi, Halong City is a three hour bus ride, the most exciting part of which is the expansive rice fields and sickly looking cows. It all becomes worth it, though, when you finally hop on the boat that will be taking you around the bay. The only word to describe Halong Bay is breathtaking. And we don't mean breathtaking like you just walked past a particulalry rank sewage pipe in the streets of Hanoi and can no longer breathe from fear of vomitting... oh no! We mean breathtaking as in the scenery is so amazingly beautiful that no words (or probably even pictures) can do it justice. Ha long litterally means "where the dragon descends into the sea". Legend has it that the 3000 islands and ilsets of Halong Bay were formed when the great dragon that lived in the mountains ran towards the coast. Its flailing tail gouged out the valleys of the bay and the areas dug up by its tail filled with water, leaving only the land we see now visible. After a short boat ride, we went to visit the "Surprise Cave". It's a rather impressive collections of stalagtites and stalagmites, though its charm is greatly diminished by the multicoloured lights stuck in every possible place and the penguin shaped garbage cans set at regular intervals. It kind of felt like DisneyLand. From there, we sailed on to Cat Ba Island, where we spent the night in a room overlooking the water. When you walked out our door and looked straight ahead, there was just water and mountains in the distance, turn left and you saw giant rock formations, the like of which you could find in the latest King Kong movie... only less dark and creepy, more sunny and fun. This morning, we sailed back to Hanoi, taking full advantage of the bright sun to tan on the boat's upper deck.

Kristelle and Steph went to put some pictures on CD to upload them to the blog, but the CD drive does not open here... so, what we're really trying to say is that we got stuck in a crazy thunder storm for you people, but you still have to wait. Too bad.

And now, we are hungry, so we'll talk to you again when we get to Laos.

Steph, Jo and Kristelle


Anonymous said...

Hi girls

I'm early rhis morning lousy weather here too......

Kristelle got a nice souvenir from Hanoi to bring back home - extraodinary birthday gift. Pasta for yr birhday - long life.

See that u r not disappointed with this tour boat-something great!!!!

Looking forward to see these breathtaking pictures.

Kris & Steph - Rebecca won Canada Next Top Model - preferred Sinead(too bad).

Waiting to talk to u in Laos.

Miss u girls-hve a nice flight-continue to hve fun during yr trip.


Johanne said...

If we are voting on your titles (seems this has been a topic of debate lately), then you get a thumbs-up from me. Dragon tales - Love it - so JK'ish! Speaking of JK, just a few more hours before the world finds out that Dumbledore is not dead!

Your bus trip to Hanoi sounds highly pleasant not too mention smelly! By the way, I love how you always seem to find British drinking buddies when you travel. They must go home thinking that Canadians are lushes - way to represent your country!

I saw pictures of Halong Bay online and they were quite breathtaking, so if, as you say, even pictures cannot do it justice, it must have been pretty awesome indeed.

Love you lots - Safe travels


Anonymous said...

hey girls! Glad to get some news from your journey! Must feel really good to eat some italien rather than rice and noodles! Steph, did you get to eat some crab or other delicious goodies from the sea? haha! Here the weather is shitty and guess what...I lost my phone again! Guess some things never change! Keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

i still say the titles suck, sorry steph. you can do better. there all sayings or tv shows. dragon tails was a tv show wasnt it? Anyway, you get an F-- on that one. double minus.

oh steph, i forgot to tell you. When ray and i were in trembalnt, we saw this show on tlc (or something) about the truth behind dragons. it was narrated by captain picard, and was talking about how dragons could fly, and the mechanics behind breathing fire... it was like a documentary on rabbits... only dragons. And the whole time they never actually said that it was all made up and dragons never existed. So what im getting at is maybe thats how all those islands were created. I mean, if professor X says they existed, it must be true!

how many dong equal a canadian dollar? is 65000 dong expensive over there? it sounds rather impressive. you luxurious bitches you!

peace out.

Gabrielle said...

Ladies!! Great post! Ca a l'air vraiment cool HAaaaaaaaLong bay, j'ai hate de voir des photos!
A part ca je ne peux m'empecher de rire un peu de El Nino qui perd son cell phone... Ca me fait m'ennuyer de toi Pat!: )
Ici tout se passe tres bien, il ne me reste qu'une semaine : 0!!
Hey, petite anecdote:
Afin de rendre hommage a mon pseudo 'el cheapo' cette semaine, j'ai decide d'aller me faire reparer les dents (plombage de 2 dents) au Costa Rica. Vraiment pas cher, 20$ par dents, mais *&^%$#@ je suis sortie de la en sueur j'ai eu TELLEMENT mal, ils ont pas m;ont pas anasthesie, pouvez-vous croire ca! Ils sont trop fou!! La morale de cette histoire, ne jamais etre el cheapo avec les soins dentaires. hehehe Ca m'apprendra!
Les filles, j'ai hate de vous voir dans les photos. : )
Je vous envoie des bizous cheries!

Ash said...

Hello ladies!!!!

Kristelle - how is the leg? Not such a good memory for your bday! lol But definitively an interesting story to tell...and you'll never forget it, so I guess that counts for something, right?!

I know what you mean about the breathtaking pictures that even photos cant give it justice...been there... got the photos... and still had to mention how much more beautiful the scenery really was. Ill understand when no words will be able to explain it! lol

Besides that IM 21!!!! ... not much different than being 20, except that now Im legal all over the world... still, however, cannot rent a car...apparently you need to be 23. I was in Tremblant for my birthday and my friends bought me a crown and a wand and I paraded around Tremblant with it on...because I can...and then that night everyone thought it was my bacheloret party, so after midnight (when it was no longer my birthday) I pretended that I was getting married... good way to get free drinks! lol There was another girl who was also getting married, so we celebrated together! hahaha

Anywho, cant wait till you guys are home... until then, keep having fun, and Kris - stay away from motobikes.

Love ya lots

p.s. I liked rebecca and Im happy she won cntm.

p.p.s. 3 more episodes Stephy!!!

Ash said...

Oh, and Stephy - good job with the "legend has it..." love that Ive had an influence on your blog writting!!!

Anonymous said...

STEPH!!!! i finished. ill send you an email with my thoughts.

the blackmailer is .... VINCENT!
Norma and Edna are in Tabithas house.
Some demon came out of tabitha's basement and wants endfora.
It's luis' last meal.

thats all for now. aideu!