Monday marked two weeks since I began my tour of Asia. I am happy to report that I am FINALLY 100% recovered (YAHOO!), after discovering that my illness wasn’t an infection or a result of something I’d eaten, but rather a bad side effect of the malaria medication I was taking. After mulling my options (feeling like death now vs. potentially feeling like death later if I catch malaria), I opted for going off the medication. I’ll layer on the DEET in areas where there are mosquitos and hope for the best. At least now I can get up in the morning and not want to cry out of misery and pain. I think that’s a better option!
At any rate, our little group of six more than doubled in size as we met up with more travellers in Hanoi. We now have three Americans, two more Kiwis, a German, and two more Brits. The Americans are living up to all stereotypes thus far, which is unfortunate because I know that they do come in non-ignorant varieties as I’ve met some lovely ones during my travels. Here, however, not so much. “Why don’t they just put the garbage in cans?”, “Oh my God, guys, there’s a pig on the back of the bike”, “You don’t have an accent?”, (would you like me to beef up the Mckenzie brothers references?), “What was John McCain imprisoned for?” (REALLY?!) etc. etc.
Anyway, we all stuffed ourselves into our van and made the three-hour drive to Halong Bay, for a day and night on a junk boat sailing around the bay. I had seen photos of the turquoise water and hundreds of islands and was very excited for some warm sunshine and relaxation.