Good Morning Vietnam

Trip Start Mar 18, 2011
Trip End Apr 15, 2011

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Flag of Vietnam  , Quảng Ninh,
Friday, April 1, 2011

When I got up this morning and out the window that was the first thing I thought of.  We are in Hong Gai, Vietnam and today we went to see Ha Long Bay.  Well, I can tell you this, Vietnam sure isn't China.  We drove a short distance to the bay through a small town with shops with open fronts.  No high rises here.  We got on a launch and went out to the rock formations in the bay. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  We got to what was a floating fishing village amongst the rock formations and got into our kayaks.
We kayaked for several hours around these unbelievable rock formations.  I took lots of pictures and will get a few up for you all to see.  There were also people in small boats selling fruit, most of which was really foreign to me.  One of our group didn't go kayaking so he stayed in the fishing village and found out that they have a floating school out there and the kids go to school up until about 4th grade and then most of them just become fishermen like their parents.  There were lots of dogs living with the people on what amounts to rafts supported by big pieces of styrofoam.
It is interesting to me that I feel less in a foreign country in Vietnam so far than I did in China.  I think this is because we have so much exposure to Vietnamese culture in St. Paul.  People are incredibly friendly.
Tomorrow a day at sea again.  Will try to get some photos up.
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