Hi all. We got back to Hanoi yesterday afternoon, after spending a gloomy day in the rain. As I mentioned in the last post, Typhoon Son Tinh was bearing down on the coast. The rain started on Saturday night at Cuc Phuong. It has not stopped since. Our day started with a drive to more temples. From here we were supposed to do the 12 km bike ride to Tam, but the weather was foul so we passed on that one. It wasn't an option. Deemed too dangerous. Quite windy as well as pelting rain. Back in the bus to Tam Coc inland Harbour for our 2 hr boat ride. Unfortunately the Harbour was closed for the boats. Hung was able to get a short alternative for us. A short boat ride through a cave. Supposed to be better than the caves we would have gone through on the other trip. It was very pretty and peaceful and dry (occasional drips from the stallictites). Off to the restaurant for lunch followed by a walk around the Harbour in light rain. It was a little disappointing but you can't do much about the weather. We are not as disappointed as many tourists as Halong Bay was closed yesterday and possibly today. We have our fingers crossed as we are to head there tomorrow morning for 2 nights.
Because of Halong Bay being closed, there were many day trips to Ninh Binh and Tam Coc just to fill in their day.
As we headed back to Hanoi, most of the shops, stalls etc were closed. They were battening down the hatches for the wild weather ahead. It is their 8th Typhoon for the year. This one has hit the Phillipines quite hard with 25+ deaths already. Not sure what damage it has had on Vietnam yet. Yesterday,the weather bureau was forecasting 11 inches of rain for today. Hopefully much of that has been overnight. When we were out for dinner last night, the street of Hanoi were a contrast to a few nights ago. Hardly any traffic about. Not much fun on a scooter in the rain. On our way back, we did see one scooter run into a vehicle in front. Low impact, but enough to send the driver and passenger sprawling across the wet surface. Both got up walking but a bit sore I would imagine.
The Mozzies paid to have an upgrade to a suite with windows. Standard rooms here don't have a window. Very nice room but the view is not much because of the weather and something on the roof rattled all night in the wind.
Plans for today are to go the the Water Puppet theatre (not far away) and some shopping. Might depend on the weather.
Well done Nicola on getting the job at Taco Bill's in Clifton Hill. Nice to have some regular income so you are not quite so poor!
We are very used to the food here, will eat anything put in front of us (almost) but I am looking forward to getting back to porridge for breakfast and not eating so much!
Only 4 nights left in this fascinating country.