2009/09/04

Halong Bay 下龙湾



(刊登于Y3K美厨食谱第50期-2009年9/10月)

夏天到越南(河内/下龙弯/三谷)



万特威市场有限公司老板李明(也是我们的前老板)打算安排他的员工到越南旅游,邀约我们参与。这趟河内/下龙湾/三谷之游由本地著名旅游公司马星泰旅游有限公司承办,为期五天四夜(16/6/2009至20/6/2009)。在电影及相片看过下龙湾风景优美,这次能够再次与一班曾经共事多年的朋友一起到梦寐以求的景点旅游,我们一口答应。

河内
16-06-2009(星期二)- 河内
我们早上六点半乘搭亚航AK870由吉隆坡廉价机场出发,费时三个小时飞至越南首都河内,当地时间八点半。天上乌云密布,出境后各自拖着自己的行李,随着领队陈贵翔及当地导游小杜冒着毛毛雨坐上为我们准备的豪华旅游巴士。

四十分钟后(当地时间上午十点)抵达一间法国建筑风味的餐馆享用地道越式午餐。餐馆外面的雨越下越大,娇小玲珑的越南女侍穿着传统服饰,不断将一道道小食端上来,把长长的餐桌上摆得满满。小杜向大家示范如何以越南米纸包春卷,首先在一张米纸上放一块炸肉丸,再夹一块黄梨及铺上一片生菜,淋上酸甜酱享用。

餐后,一行人头上带着旅行社安排的斗笠,冒雨到号称越南首间大学的“文庙”参观。文庙建于1070年,部分建筑1947年被拆毁,2006年重修。古老的中国式建筑,庙内供奉着孔子及七十二弟子塑像。

下午一点,我们被安排到酒店休息,等待另一班由新加坡来的团员。河内地价高昂,市区内大部分商店非常狭窄,我们住宿的三星级酒店宽度大约十六尺,却高十五层楼。狭窄的大堂后一个可以容纳六人的小电梯就在整栋建筑的正中央,电梯后还有一个楼梯。我们被安排在九楼,一层楼只得四间房,一字排开。由后房窗口望出去,一个狭窄的安全梯在窗口外,很担心如果发生火警是否能够逃生?放眼望去,周围的建筑杂乱无章。值得安慰的是酒店虽小,却很干净。

雨停了,天气开始转热。下午三点两地团友一起出发,到国家歌剧院及还剑湖拍照,再到三十六条古式街道购物,个个汗流浃背。这里的木制拖鞋设计花样百出,如果懂得杀价,可以购得价廉物美的好货。我们到菜市场兜一圈,手上多了一些晒干的莲子,累了就到古色古香的咖啡馆喝咖啡。

要在短短时间内对越南文化有所了解,就一定要观赏水上木偶表演。下午五点集合在还剑湖之前的“升龙水上木偶戏院”观赏当地著名的水上木偶表演。戏台是一个大水池,各种木偶造型栩栩如生,有农妇、小孩、仙女及各种动物。木偶底部与长竿相连,表演者长时间站在竹廉后的水中操纵木偶。穿着传统服饰的数名男女在戏台旁演奏乐器、歌唱及旁白。一个小时内,十七出民间传说故事生动地呈现在观众眼前。

用过一顿中式晚餐,旅游巴士在昏暗的街灯下回到酒店,结束第一天的行程。

17-06-2009(星期三)
河内/下龙湾
早上六点多起身,窗外下着大雨。七点半到十四楼的餐厅用早餐,领队陈贵翔向我们推荐粿条汤,细细的粿条好象新山出名的粿条仔,配上滚烫清淡的汤底,再挤半粒酸柑汁,非常开胃。餐后将行李收拾好搬上巴士,今明两晚在下龙湾住宿。

上午九点抵达巴亭广场,参观胡志明主席的寝陵及故居。一个小时后到附近的一柱庙及建在湖上的镇国寺参观后,我们在专卖店买了一幅漆画,开价RM1200,以RM500成交。

午餐安排在一家古色古香的餐馆,一团三十人散布在花园式庭院内,在舒适的环境下享用传统越式自由餐,这也是全程最好的一餐。领队提醒做好心理准备:「这餐过后请大家将就些,因为在下龙弯的食物就不比河内。」


(Published on Y3K Recipes issue no.50 - Sept/ Oct 2009)

Vietnam: A Hybrid of Sights, Sounds, Smells

Our former boss - Mr. Peter Lee of Wonderway invited us to join in their company trip to Hanoi, Vietnam. Obviously we took up the invitation. It will be good fun to be in friendly company and touring spots like Hanoi, Halong Bay, Tam Coc. The five days four nights trip will be arranged by local tour operator, Mar Sin Thai Travel & Tour Sdn. Bhd.

Hanoi
16-06-2009 (Tuesday) Hanoi
It was a pretty early morning flight (AK870) out of LCCT Sepang. The flight time needed three hours. Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam is seven hours ahead of GMT (Malaysia is eight hours ahead of GMT). We landed at their local time of 8.30a.m. Our group leader – Michael Tan, led us to meet the Vietnamese tour guide outside the airport. We were whisked into a deluxe coach as the sky had started to drizzle.

After a ride of 40 minutes, (local time 10a.m.) the coach stopped at a restaurant. We will have an early lunch. Vietnamese food was served in a French-style space. Petite waitresses clad in their national long flowing dress of ‘ao dai’ were very attentive in service. They have that certain Eastern woman’s grace as they moved along. The long table became laden with a generous choice of food. Local tour guide demonstrated the art of wrapping a Vietnamese spring roll. First he spread out a sheet of rice paper and placed in a piece of deep-fried meatball. Another slice of pineapple was topped in and dressed with a lettuce leaf. The roll was drenched with a sweet and sour sauce. Well, the rolls lend a refreshing taste. After lunch, the drizzle got no better but made conditions unpleasant. We all had headgear presented by the local tour agent as we have to visit Van Mien or The Temple of Literature, founded in 1070. Certain parts were destroyed in 1947 but restored in 2006. Under 1000 years of Chinese rule, former Vietnam’s emperors established the first university to educate the sons of mandarins. Statues of Confucious and his 72 disciples’ statues were placed in high esteem as offerings still continue.

It was around one p.m when we finally arrived at the hotel for a rest. Another group of Singaporeans will be coming in soon to join us. Land in Hanoi can be pretty expensive so you find most shops have very small space. The hotel was a midrange one with 16 feet wide floor space, 15 storeys tall. Towards the back

of the reception longue was the elevator area. Built for six persons of average built, the service was slow. Or try walking up to your room through the flight of staircase located at the rear portion. My room was on the ninth level, nothing fanciful. I looked out the stark room window and noticed the fire escape way was a slim ladder-like steps, precariously perched against the window sill. The thought of having to escape in an emergency of fire breakout daunted my wits. Many live circuit wires dangled all over the exterior poles like a hanging garden. Locals do not give them a second thought. But I am pleased with the cleanliness of the hotel. What a relief the rain stopped by three in the afternoon. We all proceeded to have a view of the State Theatre.

Our Singapore friends came along and saw the Hoan Kiam Lake. Next, we visited the Old Quarter filled with people and comprised of 36 streets. I gawked at the range of handicrafts especially beautifully crafted wooden clogs. It was a hot and sweaty day. If you are good at bargaining, this would be a good spot to try your luck. Nearby was another market laden with food produce. I bought some dried lotus and felt a respite was necessary to escape the harsh sun. Coffee is all over Hanoi. I chose a traditional looking café embraced with a colonial ambience.

As we have very little time to probe into the culture of Hanoi, an orientation of the water puppetry show would be best. We went to Thang Long water Puppet Theatre. This is a wonderful art to Vietnam, thought to have developen when determined puppeters managed to carry on the show despite flooding from the River Delta. Nowadays the stage is erected over a huge pool. The plot drew the theme from the same legendary sources as other traditional theatre with lively mimics of women, children, fairies and other folklore characters. All puppets were rested on long bamboo poles and all puppeteers stood waist-deep in the water. Behind the bamboo veils they hid. A few stage helpers, all dressed in traditional attire played accompanying music and acted as story narrators. Within an hour, more than 70 folklore characters have acted in the script. To patronize a water puppetry show is well-worth as I enjoyed it very much.

We had dinner done Chinese-style before retiring for the night.

17-06-2009 (Wednesday) Hanoi- Halong Bay
We woke up rather early at six in the morning. Rain pattered rapidly against the window panes. We went to the 14th floor for breakfast at 7.30a.m. Leader-Michael recommended us to try the rice noodles soup. The noodles came sliced into tiny strips, being a close resemblance to the famous kwaytew kia found in Johor Bahru. Boiling hot stock was light, addition of squeezed lime juice produced a flavourful result. Soon, it was time to pack. We will stay in Halong Bay for the next two nights.

Around nine a.m, our group had a little tour of Ba Dinh Square and next viewed Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. We saw his former residence, The Stilt House. An hour later, we visited One Pillar Pagoda, designed to represent a lotus bloom in the middle of a lake. Both Richard and I fell for a piece of fine art. The initial price of RM1,200 came to RM500 for a beautiful watercolour painting.

Lunch at Khai’s Brother - The Hanoi, taste was exciting. Our group of 30 had scattered seatings in a courtyard garden. Vietnamese buffet was truly an enjoyable meal (discovered to be the best for the entire trip) and Michael gave us a piece of advice. Food standard in Halong Bay can taste bland when compared to Hanoi. Do not expect a high review.

河内Hanoi




由巴士车窗望出去,雨中的景色好像一幅油画。
Looking through the coach's window - the scene looked like a piece of oil painting.

杂乱无章的电线看了令人担心,当地人却习以为常。
High tension wires dangling all over. Very common sight.




三十六条古式街。
36 ancient streets.




菜市场内的梅花斑多曼鱼待价而估。
Toman fish is plentiful here.



到古色古香的咖啡馆喝咖啡,体验过往的殖民地文化。
Relaxed over a cup of coffee. Cafe has a colonial charm.



水上木偶是越南国粹,表演者长时间站在竹廉后的水中操纵木偶(表演结束,表演者由竹廉后现身谢幕)。
Water puppetry show is a unique Vietnamese art where puppeters dangled their puppets through a bamboo curtain. Performers need to stand in water at mid-waist level.


到巴亭广场参观胡志明主席的寝陵。
At Ba Dinh Square, to visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.



一柱庙One Pillar Pagoda or known as Chua Mot Cot.

镇国寺Tran Quoc Pagoda amidst serene setting.

古色古香的餐馆享用传统越式自由餐,全程最好的一餐。Superb meal at Khai抯 Brother - The Hanoi Taste. Restaurant has a bygone era ambience.

来一碟现做越式猪肠粉!
I demonstrated the art of serving flat rice noodles - Banh Coun.









稻田中的坟墓堆是河内常景.
Cemetery in between padi field is a common scene in Hanoi.

下班时间,路上的电单车龙。
Amazing traffic choas after office hour.


下龙湾

下午一点半,我们续程往下龙弯出发。下龙弯位于河内东北方,距离165公里,大约三个小时后抵达酒店,设备不错。晚餐在酒店内吃,幸好领队一早提醒我们降 低对这里的食物及服务要求,否则将会是不愉快的一餐。晚上没其他节目,导游安排我们自费到附近按摩院松松筋骨。大家半躺在一间灯火通明大房内,按摩过程滑 稽,一下以黄瓜敷脸,一下头下脚上被骑在背上按,花样百出,令我们看到其他团员可爱一面忍不住暴笑,留下深刻印象。

18-06-2009(星期四)- 下龙湾
下龙湾是这趟旅游的主要目的地,超过一千个小岛散布在海湾,被称为海上桂林,1994年被联合国教科文组织列入世界自然遗产之一。这些小岛每年吸引超过八百万游客到来,二十年内为越南赚钱不少外汇。

早上八点半抵达码头,数以百计的木制游览船停泊在岸边。大伙上船后,船向宽阔而平静的大海徐徐开出,我们的心情跟着变得宽畅无比,自然的笑容展现在大家脸上。首先到天宫洞及藏木洞参观,再悠闲地在海上漫游。这些小岛一些看来像元宝;有些从前面看像斗鸡,由后面看变成一条鱼;一些像海龟;有的像骆驼…。

船在各种造型奇特的小岛间穿梭,当地小贩乘舢舨贴近我们的船兜售鲜果;船上的船员取出T-衫及手工艺品售卖;售价相当便宜,大家买得非常开心。接近午餐时间,船停在一个海上养鱼场,李先生花一百美元买了一条长约两尺在网内畅游的海鲡,为午餐加菜。船继续开,船夫充当厨师处理午餐,一顿以海鲜为主的午餐在船舱内进行,我们一面享用新鲜海产,一面欣赏窗外山水风光。

四个小时的海上慢游,压轴节目是到TIP-TOP岛。夏天中午气温高达37℃,烈日下人造沙滩挤满不怕晒的人在玩水。为了站在最佳角度一览下龙湾最美丽的景色,其中十六人决定爬上五百多级楼梯,间中停留两三次,每个阶段都有不同景色,最后上气不接下气抵达最高峰,一个有顶小亭供游客休息。环顾四周,群峰在我们的脚下,蔚蓝的大海静止如镜,游览船只三三两两散步在群山之间,好像一幅油画般,令人叹为观止。

晚餐后,行程之一是到赌场,对赌没有兴趣的我们到转一圈后就回到酒店休息。

Halong Bay

We left Hanoi at 1.30p.m. Halong Bay being 165km by road needed a travelling time of three hours. We checked in at Halong Spring Hotel, quite nice in design but dinner there was not impressive. Luckily we have been forewarned. As there were no night activities, many opted to try out the massage offered at legitimate massage salons. Fees were not included in the tour but who minds? The local tour guide did all the arrangement. We all went along and had an amusing time as masseurs soothed their faces with cucumbers. Some straddled on backs to knead and pounced on their bodies. So many gimmicks were practiced on those poor souls. The rest of us poked fun at them.

18-06-2009 (Thursday)
Halong Bay
Halong Bay is a tourists’ attraction as it has earned the name of being the most scenic spot to visit. The calm emerald waters of the bay are sheltered by thousand of Karst Islands. It was listed in 1994 by Unesco as a world Heritage Site. Nicknamed “Seaside Guilin” and according to tour data, at least eight million visitors come here annually. Thus, it has helped Vietnam to earn an influx of foreign currency. With a popularity chart of 20 years ago, tourism will certainly be on their high priority list.

Next morning at eight, we left for the pier. Hundreds of wooden tour boats and luxurious junks moored around. A tour by boat may be a perfect change. Away from the coast, the waters do not make big waves. Everyone was smiling from ear to ear as what could be more pleasurable cruising with friends and surrounded by breath-taking landscape. Islands spilled out while some lead to hidden lagoons. We disembarked and got to visit spectacular Paradise Grotto (grotto is a picturesque cave) and next explored Wooden Stakes Cave. All caves are created by the wind and waves. Back on the boat, we admired the beauty of Halong Bay.

Islands have queer resemblances like a golden ingot, chicken’s head but a fish’s tail, turtle or the camel’s hump. The boat weaved in and out of spectacular islands.

下龙湾Halong Bay

下龙弯酒店及豪华旅游巴士。
Halong Spring Hotel & deluxe coach.


下龙湾码头 Halong Bay pier








这些小岛一些看来像元宝。
Doesn’t this little island resemble a piece of gold ingot.




这两个小岛从前面看像斗鸡,由后面看变成一条鱼。
These two islands resembled a chicken's head viewed from the front but had a fish-like appearance viewed from the rear.





海上养鱼场,李先生花一百美元买了一条海鲡。
Mr. Lee paid us100.00 for a good fish raised at sea in a fish-farm.

船夫充当厨师处理午餐。Boat crew who cooked up a storm.



我们一面享用新鲜海产,一面欣赏窗外山水风光。
We enjoyed the fresh seafood as much as checking out the view through the windows.


Tip-Top岛峰顶观赏下龙湾群岛。
Views of Halong Bay from the peak of Tip-Top Island.

到TIP-TOP岛峰顶观赏下龙湾。Climbed to the summit at
Tip-Top Island for an unobstructed view of Halong Bay.






十六人爬上五百多级楼梯抵达最高峰。
16 finalists at the summit after an exhausting climb.








三谷

19-06-2009(星期五)
下龙湾/三谷/河内
离开下龙湾之前,一早在海边拍了大合照,抓紧时间往下一个行程出发。三谷素有“陆地下龙”之称,一条河流贯穿三个天然形成的岩洞而命名。

由下龙湾到三谷费时四个小时。我们随意参观过碧洞之后即刻到餐馆享用午餐,小杜特地推荐这里的山羊没有骚味,果然如他所说。午餐后天气更加热了,小杜提醒:「每艘小舟可乘搭两人,由一名船夫划动,整个行程看三个洞费时两个小时,如果怕热,只看一个洞只需一个小时。」

回程,小杜在车上介绍越南土产,接订单接到眉开眼笑。到达河内傍晚五点多下班时间,路上大部分被电单车霸占,让我们大开眼界。晚餐时,星马两地团友互相敬茶,为有缘一起旅游而惜别。

20-06-2009(星期六)
河内/吉隆坡
早上八点抵达越南国际机场,我们向领队小杜挥别,感激他在这几天来的照顾。领队与我们同机,到吉隆坡廉价机场才分道扬镳。领队在整个行程照顾团员无微不至,我们给予他很高的评价。整个行程安排顺畅,我们对马新泰旅游社丰富的经验表示感激。 #

Tam Coc

19-06-2009 (Friday)
Halong Bay/ Tam Coc/ Hanoi
Before departure from Halong Bay, we took a group photo. It was a tight timetable to Tam Coc or known as ‘ Dry Halong Bay’.

It’s huge rock formation can be some pristine beauty as the river meandered through three karst caves. Travelling time to Tam Coc was another four solid hours. We sighted an emerald looking cave before hopping to a n----earby eatery for lunch. Tour guide recommended mountain goat as the meat has no gamy smell. He was right.

Weather was hotter than ever. We could be paddled in a small kayak to view the three karst caves. A boatman helmed the kayak as it could only fit in two persons. The route was charted by him but if visitors stopped for some complex photography, only one cave could be viewed due to time constraint.

On the route back to Hanoi, local guide raved about the district’s fresh fruits. Orders poured in, he was in a perpetual grin. We came into town at five p.m. and was greeted by a Sea of motorcycles. Traffic was chaos. At dinner, we all toasted one another. Travelling with our Singapore friends have transcended borders.

20-06-2009 (Saturday)
Hanoi/ Kuala Lumpur
Our group gathered at eight a.m. sharp for Hanoi’s International Airport. It was a round of handshakes and thank you to the local guide. Of course we thanked group leader Michael who was another of “Malaysia Boleh” Mar Sin Thai had done a good organizing job too. #

三谷Tam Coc

三谷素有“陆地下龙”之称。
Tam Coc is known as Dry Halong Bay .






不畏烈日当空,向美丽景色出发。
Weather may be hot but we are going to visit the karst cave.

RM1 = 5,000 VND (Viet Nam Dong)

旅游咨询请联络 For travel information, please contact:
马星泰旅游有限公司 Mar Sin Thai Travel & Tour Sdn. Bhd.
3419-A, Jalan Panggung, Jinjang Utara, 52000 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-62573375 Fax: 03-6252 4553
e-mail: msttravel@yahoo.com

3 comments:

杨 善 SUN YONG said...

我一直抱着一个国家去一次的想法,因为想在人生之中多跑几个国家,但看了你的系列靓爆镜的相片之后,真有再去越南河内的冲动哟。
偷师者,杨善。

杨 善 SUN YONG said...

余大哥,河内在你的镜头之下,真的靓爆镜。

Y3K food & travel said...

杨善:

河内脏乱,印象不太好.

下龙弯真的很美,与桂林比较是另一种充满热情的美.可能是夏天的关系吧!

夏天去越南很热.

你的胡志明市报道很详尽.