Best, Worst, and Funniest - Hanoi and Halong Bay


  • Fanny's ice cream
  • the beautiful scenery of Halong bay with endless islands stretching into the mist
  • making new friends on our three day trip to Halong
  • learning how to make our own spring rolls
  • cheap massages, cheap beer, cheap soup. Bliss. 


  • after circumnavigating our island, getting within 100m of the resort before realizing the tide had gone out and we would either have to run a gauntlet of rabid floating village dogs with kayaks over our heads on uneven muddy ground, or turn around and kayak all the way back the way we came
  • Whitney barely escaping death by motorbike while bicycling post-migraine on a wobbly bike in full-on Hanoi traffic; Mac barely escaping death by woozy Whitney following the aforementioned incident
  • the smell of Mac's shoes after a swim in Halong Bay. Good thing we're in the land of Nike manufacturing. 
  • everything being closed because of Tet
  • the hole in the ceiling of the bathroom where Whitney was convinced someone had planted a camera to watch her shower


  • "What Does the Fox Say?" coming on the radio at Cat Ba Island
  • the water puppet show's artistic interpretation of two Phoenix(es?) having sex
  • our tour guide Henry's unveiling of the phallic surprise in the surprising cave
  • our drunk volleyball match: USA vs. USSR (or, "the miracle on sand"), fueled by the very authentic "Vodka Hanoi"
  • Whitney's volleyball debut, diving straight into the spot where the ball had landed about 30 seconds before
  • karaoke aboard our Halong Bay vessel, with Mac butchering "Careless Whisper" and Whitney giving up halfway through the excruciating "Hit Me Baby One More Time", which was was selected for her by her new (so-called) friends
  • being shown up during karaoke by our guide Henry's spirited rendition of "My Heart Will Go On". On a boat. Mac asked if there were icebergs in Halong Bay.
  • being woken by a rooster in a city of 6.5 million people