Roaming the Lands: Hanoi – Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

So, continuing from my last post, this is the second part of my Hanoi visit. Well, I say Hanoi, but it’s not like I’m showing more of Hanoi’s sights. I was lucky enough to be invited to my Vietnamese friend’s wedding in Hanoi, so part of this post will cover that. To make up for it, the second part of this post will show my short trip to the breathtaking Ha Long Bay.

So these are my observations of the events on the wedding day. Some are similar to traditional Chinese weddings in Malaysia. Do correct me if I got anything wrong! I am of course not an expert on these things, so my descriptions may be totally off the mark. The morning started with the bride (I was with her of course) getting ready – dress, makeup, etc. – waiting in a room with some of her friends, and some close female relatives giving her support. Around mid morning, the groom’s party arrived at the bride’s house (well her parents’ really), and we ate some snacks while some speeches were given. Unfortunately I don’t know a word of Vietnamese, so I don’t know what the speeches contain, but I’m pretty sure they were congratulatory type speeches. I mean, of course they were, what else can they be, I’m-Going-To-Kill-You speeches? Okay I’m starting to sound ridiculous.

After the I’m-Going-To-Kill-You congratulatory speeches, the bride poured tea into the elders’ cups (the tea ceremony), and we moved out and on to the groom’s house.

DSC_4173

At the groom’s house, the newlyweds had a wedding photoshoot in their bedroom (clothes on guys, get your mind out of the gutter 😉 ) with many balloons. Then the bride received some jewelleries from her mother-in-law and again poured tea for the elders before the groom offered the men some cigarette (which amused me to no end).

'Nyaaaa!'

‘Nyaaaa!’

Photoshoot!

Photoshoot!

The mother-in-law presenting the bride with her gifts

The mother-in-law presenting the bride with her gifts

The bride pouring tea for my sister haha

The bride pouring tea for my sister haha

The final event of the day was the grand dinner, which was GRAND. The food was good, there were stage fireworks, it was a great ending to the day. What better way to end a day than getting stuffed, after all?

I had to take a picture with the glowing bride of course

I had to take a picture with the glowing bride of course

Our merry little table

Our merry little table

The next day, my sister and I got ready for our Ha Long Bay trip, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. We went on a tour booked by my friend. I don’t remember how long the bus ride was, but we stopped at a place where they make and sell hand crafts. At Ha Long Bay, we took a junk boat that took us to see several sights in gorgeous Ha Long Bay. After a yummy lunch on the boat, we visited a floating village and observed some of their catches (some of which were pretty, and some impressive in size), then we had a choice of either kayaking or taking the small boat into one of the cave tunnels, opening to a beautiful open cave.

Floating fishing village

Floating fishing village

Even though it’s pretty misty, the giant rocks are still visible, and everything was breathtaking. We also went to one of the grottos, where the tour guide told us several stories about the stalactites and stalagmites, some of which, with a little imagination, look like all sorts of things. I was a little awed looking at the magnificence of the caves.

Some of the iconic rocks in Ha Long Bay, these printed on one of Vietnamese money

Some of the iconic rocks in Ha Long Bay, these printed on one of Vietnamese money

My sister in the grotto

My sister in the grotto

Well, that’s pretty much it. We just went to Ha Long Bay for a day, but there are 2-3 days’ packages available as well. If you go to Hanoi, Ha Long Bay is definitely worth a visit.

Bye for now!

Bye for now!

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