Saturday, May 10, 2008

Day Eleven in Vietnam: May 23

23 May,
Ha Long Hanoi/ Hue Road/ Train HA LONG BAY
morning swim.
Back to Ha Noi.
19:00: Overnight on train to Hue.

In the morning after a swim, a cup of coffee and a roll we divided up into "away teams" to explore a lagoon accessible only at low tide, through a natural entryway carved out of the rock (I'll try to load a picture later). It was so peaceful! Then, brunch.

All too soon it was time to return to the mainland. Our taste of how the other half lives was marvelous. but nonetheless moments of uneasiness intruded into our luxury: the ship was often approached by small sampans rowed by local women selling cold drinks, snacks, and souvenirs. "Hello!" they called, "You want to buy something?" I admired their industriousness at the same time as I felt the gap between affluent Westerner and impoverished native emphasized. I felt guilty, as I had so many times while traveling here. Sure, my tourism dollars are helping the economy, but once again I felt the huge discrepancy between our lives. I hope I never complain about my modest professor's salary again--it could support an entire village here.

Ha Long Bay. Beautiful.

2 comments:

Padre Mickey said...

Wow! That doesn't even look real; it looks like a dream!

FranIAm said...

It does look like a dream... a dream that I would like to be having.

I am fixated on this photo.

And your words of course. I could feel what you were saying so deeply in my heart.

Bless you beautiful Avie.