Halong Bay and Cat Ba Tour from Hanoi

One of the goals to my longer stay in Hanoi was to take the Halong Bay tour. Walking in the Old Quarter every hotel and street just about has a tour. So who to take? Walk down and turn left and pick one? Use my hotel? Flip a coin?

i decided instead to go with TripAdvisor since it was none of the above and for no additional cost they pick me up at my hotel in the Hoan Kiem District and transport me plus offering a one night stay at the destination hotel and one night on the ship. All told, I get two nights and three days to see the places and I don’t anticipate wanting to go kayaking or other activities. What I will do is eat and drink and sit like a royal couch spud on the deck and take loads of pictures.

I booked that travel today for April which looks like the last nicer month before it starts raining and getting hotter there. I will probably go somewhere in May as well that I have not quite figured out yet. Then in June, I take the Visa run to Hong Kong for some days and the train from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City for my longer stay there.

Its amazing I have been living in Hanoi now for two weeks. I go out every day and walk the city with the Fuji camera capturing and learning how the camera handles the light conditions here. I’ve learned that setting the camera to Auto does not really result in good pictures. The metering on the camera seems to not deal well with the foggy and sometimes misty conditions here and over exposes. The best I have found yet is to keep the camera on f/8 and step the exposure compensation down a bit. I’m still shooting in Aperture Priority Mode which I think gives me the best flexibility for quick shots. Yesterday I played with the TCL 100 Mark 2 telephoto lens and the Acros film simulation as you recall. Today I will shoot primarily with the WCL 100 Mark 2 lens which is a wide angle. I have some custom settings for Acros I want to try also. The great thing here is there no lack of urban and street photography including city scapes to test things on.

First off though I will find a place for some coffee and perhaps breakfast. Then will go stomping around the city for a few hours. There’s some walks I want to do either this week or next which take a bit longer but nothing really requires super human effort here. I just have to decide on the route I want to take and then do it. Decision making power has been waning of late though and I have tried to have no real accountability to that decision making.

I know. Its tough. But someone has to do it 🙂