Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

March 2
We woke up early to check out and eat breakfast. We met two guys from England and one girl from the USA in the dinning area who were going on the same your as us to Ha Long Bay for three days, two nights. A guide came into the room and gave us all sombrero hats to wear and we all walked to the bus. We rode the bus for four hours to Ha Long Bay and we took a small taxi boat to our shitty river boat. On the boat, there was a women nicknamed Mama who worked on this boat as a bartender and maid for almost 20 years with very little time off. I couldn’t even imagine. This was pretty much a booze cruise with some sightseeing. We drank beer constantly and played continuous games like Buffalo. If you see someone drinking anything with their right hand, you can call “Buffalo” and they have to chug their drink. Also, if someone says “mine” or “ten” then they have to do ten push-ups. If someone says something cocky, someone else can say “challenge” and that means the person has to do it in 24 hours or they get a slit shaved into their eyebrow. There were a few more but those were the main ones. Basically, you always had to be on your toes and be careful about what you say. We cruised around the bay all day and got lucky with weather. It has been very foggy and cloudy every week this month and this happened to be the best two days yet for the tour. It was very clear and the sun came out a fair amount. We rode around through all of the huge rocks of Ha Long Bay and enjoyed the views. We got a little drunk and went kayaking. The kayaks were horrible and were impossible to drive straight but we went through some small caves so that was cool. There were 7 dumb spoiled English kids who just finished up boarding school and just did stupid stuff the whole trip. While we were kayaking, one of them decided to jump out of his kayak and he cut his foot open really really bad on coral. It was a huge open wound that was about 5 inches long and bled nonstop all trip. He should have gone to the hospital immediately but wanted to stay on the trip. And there was no first side kid really, except for some gauze and band aids. Our tour guide had no experience in first aid. He was a fun 26 year old American guy who smokes a lot of weed and is pretty goofy. I wouldn’t be surprised if the kid had to stay at a hospital for a week or so after our trip because it definitely got infected. Anyway, after kayaking, we ate dinner and all 20 of us played a hardcore drinking game like Kings, but more intense. Then, some of us chilled up top on the boat at night and just relaxed.

March 3
We woke up early for no reason because Mama made us. We waited for like two hours for a smaller boat to take us to Castaway Island, which is the highlight of the trip. The reason this trip is so much different than the other Ha Long Bay trips that are offered is because our trip goes to a private island that only we will be on for a night. We got to the island and it was cool. It was one very small beach surrounded by high rocks. There were around 6 dormitory style open air bungalows right on the beach and then a bar area where you eat and drink. There was a shitty pool table and volleyball court. Some Vietnamese guy came to the island about an hour after we got there and set up the rock climbing. This was legit rock climbing on the side of a straight up mountain side. It was very difficult and legit. I wasn’t going to do it originally but ended up doing anyway because I really thought I could. It was so hard and pretty scary, but I made it. It was so hard because there were no easy grips for your hand to go into like a man-made rock wall. After mountain climbing, I went tubing in the bay. We put our people on a tube laying down and the driver rode around trying to get everyone to fall off. I fell off first both times I went. The first time, I was straight up ejected ten feet up and didn’t sand a chance. The other time, I was whipping around couldn’t hold myself up any longer. After tubing, I paid $20 and got to wakeboard. The guy said that I could do it as long as I wanted. I basically had the boat all to myself. There was one guy driving the boat, one guy who lived on the island that worked for the hostel who made sure I was doing well, and the me. I forgot how to stand in the beginning so I messed up on my first try. Every time after that, I got up right away because the guy reminded me to start with my knees to my chest and then to push as soon as the boat started pulling me. It was fun to do again and the water was calm so it was easy to stay up. I fell when trying to jump and a couple of times if a big wave came from our boat. After about 30 minutes, I was so tired and called it quits. I went back to the beach and soon after, we ate dinner. Like yesterday, the night started out fun but once the boarding school kids got too drunk, they would just hurt themselves. Most of the people on our trip got a slit shaved into their eyebrows because they didn’t complete challenges within 24 hours from the night before. I never got challenged. It was easy to avoid because you just don’t say anything cocky that you can’t back up like how fast or far you can swim and how high you can jump into water from. I loved the music that was played all trip. I never really listened to this kind of music but it was awesome. It was jazzy chill out music and was perfect to set the chill party mood. It was cool sleeping in the open air bungalow too because you could hear the water. There was a blacked out kid sleeping in the bunk above me so it was fun to watch him try to get down to throw up or pee. Both times he tried to get down, he couldn’t find the ladder, so he slid off the bed, caught his feet on my bed, and fell right on his face. He them would make noises of pain but no words, would go throw up and the get back in bed, then repeat all night. It was awesome. Also, some wasted kid kept saying, “who is awake?” for like an hour even though noone was responding. It was a funny scene because you could tell these kids right out of high school had no idea how to take care of themselves, stay safe, or drink a lot.

March 4
We woke up hungover, ate breakfast and headed out on a small boat to get to our big boat again. No one talked the entire time until lunch because everyone was so hungover. Matt and I played cards with these two Canadian guys we met and these two girls from Brazil and Argentina. The one Canadian guy lives in Laos with his wife he met while traveling there three years ago and those two guys were on our flight tomorrow, so we decided to split a cab. Once we got back to the boat port, we all ate these caramel ice cream bars and then took the four hour bus back to Hanoi. Matt and I ate dinner at some Italian restaurant and then passed out around 10:00 pm because we were exhausted from getting almost no sleep for three days straight. Two people came into our room making noise at 2:00 am and it was awesome because another girl and i hardcore teamed up to make them them shut the hell up. Usually no one says anything but I’m glad we did because I wanted a good night’s sleep.

mikepsilve'sHa Long Bay album on Photobucket