I woke with fingers crossed, hoping to finally have the blue skies that would transform the bay from mere beauty to magic.  While there is now a glimpse of sun and a pale patch of blue, it seems that the clouds will continue to win the war.  With flat, horrible light totally unconducive to photography, I instead spent the morning lazing on the deck of our junk, napping, and listening to the cheeky teasing and joking of our guide Ha as the rocky islands drifted by.


After the trip ended, Ha invited us out for drinks with her friends back in Hanoi.  After meeting up at 9pm we found a street corner eatery with a few spare plastic stools.  Squatted down on the low stools, we enjoyed a glass of “bia hoi”, a fresh, light-tasting beer made without any preservatives.  At only 5000 dong (25 cents) a glass, it’s the best value drink in town.  Then, time to hit the club.  At the Dragonfly Bar lots of young hip Vietnamese types jammed themselves into a small room to dance to the pounding beats.  The was very little space to actually dance and as people entered or left the room, those around them were sucked along in the same direction.  We lost Ha in the crowd a few times as she is so short, but she feistily fought her way back to find us each time.  With no age limits in bars in Vietnam, I also spotted a few very young looking Westerners enjoying the chance for a night out on town…or maybe I’m just getting to old…I’m certainly past my clubbing prime.

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