Monday, 8 March 2010

Sunday 7th March

Kayaked in the morning through some cool caves where we saw swifts (as in birds-nest soup) and bats (not sure what bit of them they eat). Water at low tide was only a foot deep so we could see clams and soft corals on the bottom. Having eventually figured out how to steer the kayak (which didn't have a rudder fitted for some unknown reason) we ventured further afield around some of the islands. It was remarkably easy to get lost - though I hasten to add that we didn't.

In the afternoon more kayaking, but the weather turned colder and more blustery. Talking to the guide; since Halong obtained its world heritage status in 1994 the number of tourists has grown significantly. Sadly the Vietnamese are not yet really able to protect their environment, the water is polluted both with rubbish and also diesel. A real shame. Definitely not somewhere to swim, despite the encouraging noises made by the guide.

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