HALONG BAY The early morning drive out to Halong Bay, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, began very strangely indeed. Our guide, Lan, did not show up for a very long time after his appointed hour. We were fretting and fussing when the driver, Mr. Hung, finally arrived, sans Lan, telling us in his very limited English that he was to drive us to the Bay, again, sans Lan. C OUNTRY S CENES We were in some consternation, but decided that we had better go with Mr. Hung since we were supposed to be boarding a ship around noon to begin our cruise around the Bay. Mr. Hung drove quickly but not alarmingly even though we were still gazing out rain-spattered windows.
The country scenes scrolling by us seemed timeless in many ways, with farmers working their fields by hand, harvesting a rice crop. They were dressed in the conical bamboo hats, long white shirts and loose pants, and mostly barefoot. Little villages were separated by big fields along the very good highway.
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