The transfer by minibus from Hanoi to the Halong Bay and back, was included in the booking of the 24 hour boat trip in Ha Long Bay.
On time, we were picked up at the hotel and after a quick detour to the Opera in Hanoi where a lady hopped on, we drove towards Ha Long.
We cross the Red River on the Chuong Duong Bridge and drive past the newly opened AEON Mall, Hanoi largest mall.
Our journey continues eastwards, leading along innumerable paddy-fields past and through smaller villages. In many places, we see industrial plants for power generation as well as facilities for manufacturing building materials.
In Hai Duong we cross the Red River again. Next to the modern reinforced concrete bridge over the river is the steel structure of the PHA Lại bridge. The 740 m long railway bridge was set up only 2011.
About halfway there is a short stop in front of a hall. At first it looks like a stonemasonry firm, but it is probably a kind of cooperative.
Besides excellent marble sculptures, plenty of vases are sold here.
To get an overview of the place, we walk a little bit around. Probably it is a former brickyard. Some young dogs are kept in a shed and are pleased for the change, due to our visit.
In the hall itself, embroidered and painted images are offered. Colorful vases and other ceramic objects are exhibited and available for sale. We regret that we can not buy anything because of airline luggage restrictions.
In another hall we discover the pottery-kiln, where all these ceramic articles are produced. It appears a little disconcerting that the working people do not take any notice of us.
Also in the production hall we move as if we were invisible. It is not clear to us, whether the working men and women can not be distracted due to high performance figures, or whether they have the instruction to disregard tourists.
As the first rocks of Halong Bay are in sight, we consider ourselves to be already at the destination. But we were wrong.
At first, another gemstone and pearl jewelry manufacturer must be visited. This products would indeed fit into our luggage, but we are not interested. We allow ourselves a coffee instead.
Arriving at the port of Ha Long, it still lasts for a while until a ferry-boat takes us to our ship. In the meantime we watch the hurly-burly in this touristic port and enjoy the exotic ships.
Please read on> Ha Long Bay Day 1
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