We went hiking on the second day, passing through a flooded forest...
...another forest photo. We scrambled over some very dangerous, sharp, slippery, and muddy rocks for five hours...
A funeral procession in Bat Trang, a potterymaking village (aka tourist trap) near Hanoi.
Halong Bay is full of gorgeous karst (limestone) islands like these...unfortunately it rained on the way in and out, so I didn't get many good photos.
Limestone formations in a cave in Halong Bay. This photo does not do the cave justice...it was amazing, but my photos mostly didn't come out.
A mechanical loom with 36 harnesses, running off a string of punchcards at top right.
...where we ate lunch in a minority village. Northern Vietnam gets quite chilly, so this thatched hut is daubed with mud on the outside to strengthen it.
The punchcards. It was mesmerizing to sit there and watch the loom weave...I wish Id' been able to ask more questions.
Scorpion brandy. The Vietnamese have a very strange taste for putting odd animals into brandy or whisky as tonics...I saw silkworms, geckoes, three different species of snake, crows (!), and seahorses (among other things).
A green treesnake in brandy. I kept waiting to see the giant clear glass vat with an entire cow suspended in it...I'm sure they've got one *somewhere* in Vietnam.
And yes, they *do* actually drink the stuff. Even the ones with 1000 silkworm caterpillars in the bottle...