Another one of my favourite things about Asia is that if anything goes wrong it is always at the fault of the foreigner.
The news came through that Colla & Levi wouldn’t be joining me for the weekend Halong Bay trip so we decided that we would bring Halong bay to us. This involved Hawaiian shirts and wine in the living room with imaginary sand and real movies accompanied by hilarious commentary and puns.
The bus was due to collect me on Saturday morning out the from at Collas between 8-8:45 am so you could imagine my surprise when Collas at my door, still in Halong Bay, attire at 7am with the driver downstairs. I threw some shit into a bag and groggy eyed got into a pristine little bus. Here i am stoked that the incredible amount of money I’ve spent has paid off to be comfortable. I spoke too soon!
After driving around Hanoi the driver tells me that I’m in the wrong bus. Let’s just acknowledge that a. We have been driving for about 30 minutes and b. It was him and his boss who called Collette to get me ready for the bus to Halong bay, downstairs. Well apparently none of that happened and It was all my fault because I rang them with that Vietnamese phone I have, whilst sleeping and demanded the wrong bus to wait for me downstairs.
If only the travels improved from there but there was a series of unfortunate events that followed that made my trip just a little more entertaining:
Upon arrival I was told that my $90 USD ticket is not valid and I had to argue my way to the tour guide, with receipt in hand that it was. I then find out upon boarding the dodgy boat that I’ve paid double then everyone else. Said tour guide then moved my seating because I was travelling alone and fed me seafood, not so good for the allergies. Throughout the trip he would casually drop comments such as – I wouldn’t be kayaking and all the ‘inclusions’ I paid for were not included. Of course all this was delivered with a smile. You could imagine at this point that little Ray is out and I’m ready to fly kick the absolute shit out the situation.
However, I have to say that the people on my boat were beyond phenomenal and I’m super blessed to have experienced the weekend with such an awesome group of peeps. Most were super supportive and rallied together to get this dodo into action and it all worked out in the end. My situation became a joke amongst many as at the end of the day we were all sold something that we didn’t get with Disappointment at an all time high over the lack of exciting games on offer.
A huge thanks to those who made Halong Bay a most memorable trip. Rain, lightning, shitty meals, unstructured boats and all.