MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

Ha Long Bay Part 5 - Cruise Lunch and Pearls

During our Ha Long Bay cruise, a female member of the three person crew took the opportunity to present her case of jewellery for sale. On tourist attractions like the Ha Long Bay Cruise and the previous Tam Coc Sampan trip we took, it almost seems customary to encourage cornered tourists to buy souvenirs for sale. Its definitely a practical opportunity for them anyway.

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I have to admit that this lady wasn't as pushy as the sampan rower in Tam Coc, but then she was selling more expensive ware and probably wasn't expecting a sale. She touted genuine pearl necklaces, earrings and bracelets and even a specimen oyster shell with embedded pearls to prove her point.

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Our guide translated a little and explained that these pearls were all the genuine article and you could test it by either scratching them on glass or by burning them (which wouldn't make a mark in either case). He demonstrated by unsuccessfully attempting to burn one of the genuine necklaces. He was then passed a sample necklace that he explained came from one of the night markets, and the pearls immediately melted once they touched his lighter flame.

Linh ended up bargaining down a couple of bracelets and earrings from approximately 500,000VND (about £20) down to 350,000 VND (£14), which our guide was impressed with. These were meant as gifts to Linh's father's wife and two daughters. After my pitiful bargaining at last night's Ha Long night market, I decide to leave future bargaining to Linh.

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Towards the final hour of the cruise, the crew prepare a seafood lunch for us and our guide, which included these gorgeous looking, but petite crabs which therefore required some skill in being taken apart.

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There were also some prawns, fish, rice and crinkle cut chips (!) as well as some strange looking, long striped sea creatures tossed in amongst our vegetables. You can see them in the photo below. One is grasped by the chopsticks.

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I'm not a massive fan of seafood, but the quality of the meal together with the novelty of lunch aboard our vessel made it a pleasant finish to our cruise.

Check out our Flickr set for a few more photos on our Ha Long Bay cruise lunch


This entry posted in : Attractions. Tourism. Vietnam.

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