Saturday, March 12th, 2016
My lip was quite swollen when I examined it in the morning, so I decided to remove the piercing. I was mad at myself. Not for getting it done, but for getting it done drunk and irresponsibly. I’m generally a sensible person, at least when I’m sober. It wasn’t my proudest moment, but I’m not going to hide the not-so-pretty components from you. So there you have it!
After cleaning the inside and outside of my mouth, I got packed. I was hurting in more ways than one, both via hangover and pride. I force fed myself the breakfast that the hotel staff delivered to our room, hoping I’d feel better. Shortly after, we got a call from the staff to inform us that our bus had just arrived to take us to Halong Bay.
For once, we were the last people to be picked up, so we had to sit apart from one another. I was lucky enough to wind up sitting next to a friendly Aussie named Aaron from Sydney, who was very easy to talk to.
The bus made a pit stop at a statue shop before we arrived at the pier. Once there, our chummy tour guide, who went by the name “Peter,” directed us onto the dinghy which took us to the larger vessel we’d be staying overnight in.
Once we got onboard, we all gathered in the dining area to be directed to our rooms. We were both pretty pleased with ours.
After ditching our things, we headed up to the upper deck to enjoy the views with a few of the others before meeting back in the dining area for lunch.
The vegetarians got their own designated table which included Aaron, who was vegan, a German girl and the two of us. After eating an assortment of fried foods and tofu, we returned to the upper deck to drink beer and do more sightseeing.
Halong Bay was absolutely beautiful, even with the overcast. The group we were touring with all seemed pretty friendly, and we chatted with Aaron and a girl named Caitlin who was from Mississippi. She had just finished teaching English in South Korea which she had been doing over the past year and had plans to teach in Spain over the summer. Teaching English abroad has been something I’ve considered doing myself, so I bombarded her with questions. We were just finishing up our Vietnam adventure, but theirs was just beginning.
Jump Ahead to Part 19: Surprise Cave, A Glowing Shaft, & Ti-Top Island
Start from the Beginning at Part 1: Busing Across the Border to Ho Chi Minh City