Our Family Blog

Dong Thien Cung

October 18th, 2008 | Posted by Davey in 06-Vietnam - (1 Comments)

As part of the Halong Bay excursion we were taken to Dong Thien Cung Caves.  Not all that interesting, but very funny.  Our guide kept comparing different stalactites to various animals – “se, dis luk like lion”, “se, dis luk like elefan”, they looked nothing like a f**king lion or elephant.  So throughout, we were somewhat whispering to each other, “se, dis luk like big tre”, “se, dis luk like big mous”– not sure the other guests found it very funny.  He was right when he said one looks like a nipple, so we’ve included that one  – see if you can spot it.

The lighting was impressive.

Sam sniggering behind our guide.

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Halong Bay

October 17th, 2008 | Posted by Davey in 06-Vietnam | UNESCO World Heritage Sites - (3 Comments)

Majestic, mysterious and inspiring – words alone cannot do justice to the natural wonder that is Halong Bay.  3,000 or more incredible islands rising from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin – a vision of breathtaking beauty. In 1994 it was designated a World Heritage site and is soon to be listed (currently in second place) as one of the 7 new wonders of nature.

We took a 3–day two night excursion and it was worth ever cent of the $54 (each), that included the boat (1 night), meals and other excursions to the caves, Cat Ba island (1 night) and hiking in the Cat Ba National Park.

We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, it really was a fantastic experience.  You can see many more pictures here.

UNESCO World Heritage Site #8

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Army Museum

October 16th, 2008 | Posted by Davey in 06-Vietnam - (1 Comments)

Worth a trip if, like us, you have plenty time on your hands, is the Army Museum which hosts a great collection of weaponry captured during many years of warfare.  The centerpiece was a Soviet-built MiG-21 fighter jet, for me it was the HU1 helicopter (aka ‘the hue’).  Having seen it in movies and on the news so many time it was great to see it up close – shame we weren’t allowed to sit in it or even take it for a spin.

As expected, it gave a one sided view of the war which was very interesting. A great collection of photographs showed the destruction and devastation caused by the American bombings. 

My favourites were the last two: (1) un-deterred by the war, a lady happily watering her flowers amidst the wreckage of a B52 bomber, and (2) a self-made short gun made by Vietnamese guerrillas – how did the Americans ever expect to defeat an army that had the skill to whittle their own weaponry.

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Wedding frenzy

October 16th, 2008 | Posted by Davey in 06-Vietnam - (2 Comments)

This scenario is so far removed from what we are used to, it made us chuckle so we though we would share it with you. We were walking through Hanoi Botanical Gardens and seen what we thought was a wedding reception.  Having walked closer, another wedding couple appeared and another and another.  When in the heart of it, there were as least 50 couples posing for their wedding photos.

Having chatted with a few couples, it appears that it is tradition to go to the gardens a month before the ceremony to have their whole album completed so it can be displayed at the reception.  It was like snow drops on the grass from a distance.  The whole process looks rather laborious. Only the bride, groom and bridesmaid attended – so much for seeing the dress before the big day!

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Cat Ba Island

October 15th, 2008 | Posted by Davey in 06-Vietnam - (2 Comments)

Again, not a lot to report from Cat Ba other than it had a beautiful beach and I played volley ball for the first time.  We stayed one night on the island and spent most of the day at the beach with our other boat guests.

It was Europeans versus the Chinese and I’m pleased to report that we kicked their asses.  They are absolutely mad – every time their player missed a crucial volley, they he knelt down while the rest booted him in the ass – strange.

As an example of how silly they are just look at the last photo – they did provide entertainment for all which was good and it was all in good humour.

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