Pt 19 – Surprise Cave, A Glowing Shaft, & Ti-Top Island

Saturday, March 12th, 2016 continued…

We all put on our life vests and took the dinghy to “Surprise Cave.” I shared a very awkward moment right before the tour with one of the girls while using the toilets. The stalls had no doors and very short walls on either side, so we had a few uncomfortable laughs as we looked over at one another while relieving ourselves. Surprise! There goes modesty!

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During the tour, our guide “Peter” would point out formations that resembled lions, roosters, and oh look! Directly in front of us was a brightly illuminated structure that inexplicably looked like a penis! Above the phallic figure, was an indentation. Peter (who’s English name also happens to be a synonym for a phallus, I might add!), did his best at making sexual innuendo by telling us that, “One day they both shall meet.”

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The cave was lit up with many colors, and Peter pointed out that the texture on the ceiling was caused by waves that had once entered the cave.

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He also brought our attention to a stalagmite that sparkled and another that resembled a turtle, which had a very smooth head after being rubbed so many times for good luck. Buddhist would also throw money around it for good fortune.

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Sparkly Stalagmite (Sorry, bad picture, I know!)
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“Turtle” Stalagmite (An even worse picture! Sorry!)

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We returned to the big boat and cruised a little further until we got to Ti Top Island. Some of the girls from our tour giggled over the name of the island, which was actually named after a Soviet cosmonaut named Gherman Ti-Top (or Titov). He was the second astronaut to orbit the Earth, and first visited the island as a guest of Vietnam’s former leader, Ho Chi Minh, who named the island in his honor as a cordial gesture to Russia. The statue was erected in 2015.

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We took the hike up the stairs to the top of the island which rewarded us with stunning views.

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Once we got our fill of the 360 degree views, we returned to the beach and watched dogs play in the sand. I looked for seashells while dodging the numerous stranded jellyfish that had been washed up ashore.

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The captain would move us to a different cove for the night, and we mingled with everyone over drinks and fruit before dinnertime. Libations continued throughout the night, although sadly, not enough was consumed to get anyone brave enough for karaoke, much to Peter’s disappointment.


Jump Back to Part 18: Fat Lip, Fried Food & Halong Bay

Jump Ahead to Part 20: Kayaking, Luon Cave & Spring Rolls

OR

Start from the Beginning at Part 1: Busing Across the Border to Ho Chi Minh City

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