Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ha Noi to Bai Tu Long Bay...

We stayed at the (strangely named) Tirant Hotel in Ha Noi, before our trip to Bai Tu Long Bay and on our return from Sapa.We discovered, just before checking out that the hotel has only been open for four months!
The breakfasts that we enjoyed at the hotel(prepared by Chef David) were probably some of the best that we had while in Vietnam.
While waiting for our transport to arrive I wandered around to capture some of the sights of the "Old Quarter" that we were staying in.
This fellow seemed to be in a hurry to get somewhere!
We hit the road for the 4 hour trip to Ha Long...at 40-80kph even a short trip can take a long time.
 But we had great company in the form of an Australian family that we befriended.
There was one "toilet stop" along the way.We were told that we were going to stop at a supermarket...we thought food...it turned out to be a souvenir supermarket! It did have wonderful(if somewhat LARGE) marble sculptures on sale.
At first I thought this board showed the applicable speed limits, but then I realized that it was toll charges.
This board, I assume, meant that there was a town ahead.

Our destination is getting closer, but still a while before we get there

Back to the *SUPERMARKET* stop...while we were browsing, the vehicles were getting cleaned.
This young woman was doing embroidery that was so fine it looked like a photograph.This particular art-form seems to be practiced all over Vietnam.
The only major factory we saw was this one on the way to Ha Long Bay...not sure what it produces other than clouds of smoke...but the beauty of what was to come at Ha Long Bay certainly outweighed this pollution spewing complex!

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