“Inside Vietnam” tour

This item appears on page 80 of the February 2011 issue.
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Halong Bay

My cousin Dick Schroeder and I took a wonderful 19-day tour, “Inside Vietnam,” with Overseas Adventure Travel (Cambridge, MA; 800/493-6824), Oct. 20-Nov. 7, 2009. (In 2011, the 18-day/17-night “Inside Vietnam” costs $2,495-$3,195 from Los Angeles.) My main reason for going was to see Halong Bay with its picturesque karst formations. (The picture shown here, taken by Dick, is now the screen saver on my computer.)

Rising abruptly out of the water, these limestone isles, which cover an area of 1,500 square miles, can be seen off about half of the bay’s 74-mile coastline. This tour included an overnight boat trip in the bay on a junk! We visited a floating fish farm and also a huge cave, inside of which we walked up and down hundreds of steps, seeing the stalagmites and stalactites.

Although we saw spectacular scenery and stopped at temples and other famous sites on this tour, this was a trip for seeing how the people live. We visited homes, orphanages, schools and a craft school for disabled young people. We also enjoyed two home-hosted meals, with the opportunity to try various wines, like tapioca, cricket or silkworm, and delicacies such as fried crickets.

At the end of our trip, our very capable guide, Tran, asked us what had made the greatest impression on us, and everyone answered Halong Bay, followed by the Cu Chi Tunnels and the traffic.

JUDY PFAFFENBERGER
Toledo, OH

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.
Halong Bay

My cousin Dick Schroeder and I took a wonderful 19-day tour, “Inside Vietnam,” with Overseas Adventure Travel (Cambridge, MA; 800/493-6824), Oct. 20-Nov. 7, 2009. (In 2011, the 18-day/17-night “Inside Vietnam” costs $2,495-$3,195 from Los Angeles.) My main reason for going was to see Halong Bay with its picturesque karst formations. (The picture shown here, taken by Dick, is now the screen saver on my computer.)

Rising abruptly out of the water, these limestone isles, which cover an area of 1,500 square miles, can be seen off about half of the bay’s 74-mile coastline. This tour included an overnight boat trip in the bay on a junk! We visited a floating fish farm and also a huge cave, inside of which we walked up and down hundreds of steps, seeing the stalagmites and stalactites.

Although we saw spectacular scenery and stopped at temples and other famous sites on this tour, this was a trip for seeing how the people live. We visited homes, orphanages, schools and a craft school for disabled young people. We also enjoyed two home-hosted meals, with the opportunity to try various wines, like tapioca, cricket or silkworm, and delicacies such as fried crickets.

At the end of our trip, our very capable guide, Tran, asked us what had made the greatest impression on us, and everyone answered Halong Bay, followed by the Cu Chi Tunnels and the traffic.

JUDY PFAFFENBERGER
Toledo, OH