Ten Thousand Thundering Typhoons!

and Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles!

I’m sorry for the recent lack of posting. We’ve spent the last few days holed up on a remote jungle beach with no internet access, which was awesome. But I still need to catch this blog up on events of a week ago…

And incidentally, Tin Tin is huge here. Literally every vietnam souvenir store sells these weird metal prints of the covers of various Tin Tin books, most notably Tin Tin Au Vietnam, which I’m not even sure exists. It might just be made up for us tourists. I dunno. It’s everywhere, in any case. Weird.

Anyway.. this post is not about Tin Tin, it’s about Typhoons. Our plan had been to leave Hanoi and spend the night on a boat in Ha Long Bay. It’s pretty much what every tourist does. Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the cant-miss places in Vietnam. Everyone says you need to stay overnight on a junk to really experience the place.

But the day we were meant to go, a typhoon hit the vietnam coast. I think it was called Typhoon Francisco. Note that this is a different typhoon than the one that hit the vietnamese central coast a couple days ago. We barely missed that one by a day as well.. but Ill save that for another belated blog post.

This vacation has been nothing but ridiculous heat and typhoons! Wheee!

Anyway, the current typhoon in question just seemed like a big rain storm in Hanoi, but I guess it was way worse on the coast. So of course our overnight boat trip was cancelled, and we were very sad. We wandered around Hanoi pathetically in the rain looking like this:


We rescheduled the trip for the next day, but could no longer spend the night. So we just took a day trip on the boat instead.

And when we got down to Ha Long Bay, it turned out it had been our good fortune that the trip had been cancelled the previous day, as 25 tourist boats had sunk in the typhoon the previous day, and another 50 or so were damaged:


That could have been us on that boat! We really lucked out. Especially since the day we did end up spending in Ha Long Bay was gorgeous and sunny and warm. The bay was beautiful and serene, despite the billions of oldtimey-looking tour boats clogging up the waters:



The rock formations were gorgeous and majestic. All unworldly karsts jutting up all over the place out of the water. It reminded me a lot of Doubtful Sound in New Zealand, except with islands instead of fjords, and in the tropics instead of freezing temperate zones. But almost as beautiful. You can see why the legends say it was formed by dragons. All the rock is made of limestone, which is the world’s most amazing substance because it forms caves like this:



It would have been nice to spend the night in Ha Long Bay, and I can see why people say you need to do that. Four hours on a boat just isn’t enough to see everything. But considering we braved the first of our two typhoons and still made it there, the one day we had was pretty nice.

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  1. cameron
    Oct 5th, 2007at11:17 am

    the colors in that last photo of the limestone cave are colored lights, right? otherwise i’d say you stepped into the jewel planet from Dad’s Magic Bubble stories.

  2. Oct 6th, 2007at8:33 am

    yeah, all the caves were lit up with sorta cheesy lights and stuff. nowhere near as cool as the jewel planet, or glibbledezyx (sp?). but the rock formations were still pretty amazing.


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