26.12.2004 22 °C
Woke up this morning to the sound of our wake up call - it was 6:45 am. Got up and had a shower before getting ready for our day trip to Halong Bay. Went downstairs and had breakfast and ordered a roll for lunch as i knew i probably would like lunch today. At 7:30 we headed downstairs where we waited til 8:00am for our bus. When it did not turn up we walked to our travel agent who told us to wait and then put us on another companies bus at 8:20am.
We drove for an hour and half to our first stop. It was a toilet stop but also a chance to shop from a workshop for handicapped children. No one bought anything as it was ten times the price as back in Hanoi. It was then back on the bus for nearly 2 hours until we reached Halong City.
We left the first bus and were made to join another tour company - still not the one we booked with. We had to wait til 1pm to finally get on our boat. It was nice but nothing to fancy. We sailed for an hour before finally stopping for lunch. Even though we pre-ordered veggie meals the only veggie option was one plate of plane tofu and some steamed rice. I was left hungry and a bit sick. We sailed around the bay for another 1/2 hour before stopping at the Grotto at 3pm. We walked through the caves for an hour- by this time the sea sickness was catching up with me. I went back to the boat and was sick in the toilet the whole way back to the bus.
We got on the bus at 5pm. We drove for 2 and a half hours with me sick in the front before finally arriving back in Hanoi. We were dropped off at our hotel and i went straight up to bed. I turned on the news and heard about the Tsunami - it shocked me to the core - it hit the exact places we had been staying a few weeks earlier. We had originally planned to do Vietnam first then Thailand which would have meant we would have been there but thank god or fate or whatever but thankfully we weren't there although we did still know people there so that was a big worry.
After processing that information i finally headed off to sleep still feeling sick and in shock from todays events.