I was looking forward to experience the grandeur of Ha Long Bay. In fact, Ha Long Bay was the only reason I came to Hanoi. The journey started around 5 in the morning. The public bus brought me into the beautiful scenery of Vietnam’s rice fields, and high-rise Vietnamese tiny homes covered by mists.
The 6-hour trip taught me three things – first, Vietnamese buried their corpse in the rice fields, which serves as a fertilizer, thus making the rice taste differently delicious. Second, taking the public bus saved us a lot of money, thrice the normal range compared from taking a travel agent, because FYI, Hanoi is expensive. Third, I learned how Vietnamese reaction to a fat person, I was not sure if they were born without seeing a fat person, or it was part of their culture not to be fat, and being one is being different. My friend was harassed many times while we were in the bus. The men would touch her and asked her gender, which was a bit off. The passengers especially the women would look at her from head to foot with their eyes investigating every inch of her body and laughed at her. So sad, but my friend was used to it, she’s been living in Hanoi for a year.
When we reached Ha Long City bus terminal, we took a cab to the Ferry Station. Ha Long City was beautiful. It’s a small city surrounded by small-scale hotels, and beautiful villas mirrored in a small lake. It also has hilly streets where from the top, one can see ranges of the Ha Long Bay. Amidst thousands of people flocking each day to the city, the streets remained peaceful and definitely not crowded. I haven’t seen a town comparable to it.
Passengers in our ferryboat were lovely local tourists. Vietnamese ladies in their best dresses like senoritas traveling on a yacht. They were all looking gorgeous, and very friendly towards us, especially to my friend. Meanwhile, Ha Long Bay was gorgeous. From afar, it’s like giant water drops turned into limestone isles. The feeling was just heavenly different, I was in a vast blue ocean surrounded by giant limestone isles – it was unbelievably beautiful!
Along the bay were ancient fishing boats and a few floating houses of fishermen, and a giant dragon sleeping under the sea.