After the conference I stayed for a couple extra days to go to the famous Ha Long Bay. There I took a 3 day boat tour of the bay which was absolutely gorgeous, although at this time of the year a bit foggy (which in many ways added to the mystique of the boat ride). On the second day, we got to kayak around and it was some of the best kayaking I've ever done. The water was so peaceful and calm, and the huge rock cliffs and fog around us was really awe-inspirning. I love being on the water and that boat trip was a real highlight of my time here so far.
After returning from Hanoi, there was a great opportunity for me to go down to Saigon to meet with a Fulbright student who’s mom was the president of the Sierra Club and was visiting to go travel around some remote forest areas in southwest Vietnam. I joined them for a couple days and it was a really fascinating trip. Traveling around those regions without some sort of connection would be near impossible, so joining his family was a wonderful way to see these remote areas.
Now I’m back in Nha Trang getting my lobster project rolling – there is a big international conference taking place here in the next couple days so I’m trying to do all I can to help my Vietnamese colleagues prepare their materials (they find it useful having a native English speaker around) so I’m looking forward to meeting aquaculture specialists from around the world and discussing my project with them!