Robin's Adventures

Southeast Asia
Adventures in the Far East

Downtown Hanoi

Streets were crowded, noisy, and busy all day long. People, however, tended to be very relaxed as they went about their daily business.

Hanoi Hilton

The prison was built and used by the French to hold political prisoners. Later, it was used by the North Vietnamese to hold US prisoners of war during the Vietnam War.

As we looked at the exhibits, we were astounded at the Anti-American propaganda that was presented. This propaganda is spouted as gospel and there is no freedom of information that would allow people in Vietnam to learn the truth.

Water Puppet Show

The first water puppet shows were shown in small farming villages in the 11th century as a way to entertain the farmers and amuse the spirits so they would not cause mischief for the farmers.

Today the show is performed in a theater with lacquered puppets that are controlled by strings attached to underwater poles. The puppeteers stand behind a screen in waist high water to control the puppets. Musicians sit along both sides of the stage to provide the music and song that tells the story that the puppets are acting out.

Traditional Vietnamese Meal

Steve enjoyed a meal of traditional Vietnamese fare. He tried a wrap, which involved adding various ingredients to a plant leaf, rolling it, and eating it. Thus, his appetizer was both entertaining and delicious. The main course involved beef and vegetables with white rice. Robin, of course, had chicken.

Through the Countryside

As we traveled by car from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay, we got a more rural view of daily life in Vietnam. We saw farmers working in their fields, children on bicycles leaving school, and small stands selling food and beverages along the way.

A Snapshot of Rural Life

Our brief glimpse of country life in Vietnam showed us lots of beautifully tended fields, a farm worker arriving at work with his hoe attached to his bicycle, and a farmer taking a break and resting on the back of his water buffalo.


The next part of our journey was an overnight cruise through Ha Long Bay aboard the "luxury junk" Jasmine. The cruise was relaxing and peaceful and the scenery was magnificent.

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay, which translates to descending dragon bay, has beautiful emerald green water and thousands of limestone formations in a variety of sizes and shapes. Most of the formations rise out of the bay like monoliths. Many are thickly covered by plant growth.

More Ha Long Bay

As the sun's position moves throughout the day, its reflection off the limestone formations and the water create an ever changing palette of colors that makes Ha Long Bay a beautiful sight. Sitting on our balcony and watching the rock formations go by was a delightful way to spend our afternoon.

Tien Ong Cave

Tien Ong Cave, a small cave with two chambers, has a variety of stalactites and stalagmites. There is a paved path at the entrance that is well lit so it is easy to find your way. There are currently excavations going on in some portions of the cave and many fossils have been discovered.