To wake up and hear the rain hit the windows was a surprising taste of home and a comfort we both missed. It did mean, however, a lazy day. Only thing on the agenda and it’s a biggy, do we or don’t we go to Halong Bay? It wasn’t as simple as a yes or no answer though. Today’s tours were cancelled due to bad weather and it does not look to clear up until Wednesday.
Why not wait for Wednesday? Well, we have only 15 days in Vietnam, so with very limited time it leaves us stuck. If we waste more time in Hanoi waiting for the weather to clear up (still no guarantee for Wednesday as the weather is so unpredictable), it means missing places out to ensure we get to Cambodia before the 15th day ticks over. So really we should have left for Halong Bay by tomorrow to give enough time to tick off the major sites on our way down the country. Another worry is the fear of losing money. Booking the tour and it not running makes for a full refund, however, the tour collecting you from the hostel and taking you to the docks before being cancelled equals not a full refund. The Asian countries like to charge tourists for everything, so the waste journey to the bay would be no other and I’m sure they would try and charge as much as possible as! On the other hand, can you realistically come to Vietnam and not visit the legendary Halong Bay? Probably not!
After much deliberation, research, talking to the travel agency and weather satilites, we pinched a day from our time in Ho Chi Mi city and bit the bullet and booked the cruise for tomorrow (17th) in hopes it runs. This way, if we go, result! If we don’t go, we have peace of mind that we tried to visit it.
With the tour booked and our accounts $101 lighter we treated ourselves up with some retail therapy, purchasing some genuine Vietnam, hot-off-the-press, close-to-matching North Face coats. I even trea ted myself to a new sun hat. This however, has received mixed reviews amoung family and friends but it’s smart, fashionable and practical. Can’t see a negative myself.