Monday, February 27, 2006

Finally Some Karaoke in Halong Bay

I should really be writing about the stunning beauty of the limestone cliffs of Halong Bay, about the three day boat trip, about hiking the hills of Cat Ba island and about sea kyaking into hidden coves where you could scream and hear your echo. I should be writing about this because Halong Bay is one of the most stunning things I have seen on this trip. It really was amazing. But what I really want to write about is karaoke, which was amazing in its own special way.

I have been dying to karaoke since Japan. Strangely enough no one would indulge my interest in Japan. So when our boatload of travelers had the opportunity to karaoke at a small smoky bar in Halong Bay, after several large Tiger beers, let's just say that I didn't refuse the microphone. In fact, I embraced the microphone. I was the karaoke. You all would have loved it. Screamed for more. Thrown your bras and underwear onto stage for me.

I only had two performances - songs selected for me by my fellow boaters - "Like a Virgin" and some Celine Dion song that sadly I can't remember (foggy - I had quite a few beers). When I wondered aloud why these songs were selected for me, all I was told was that Celine Dion was chosen because I was Canadian. No one told me why I got "Like a Virgin". I actually think that I ended up with this song because someone shoved the microphone in my hand and told me to sing with an Australian who was a worse singer than I was. Maybe I got it because I appear virginal. Either way, I do have to say, my karaoke performance was just as stunning as the natural wonders that surrounded me. I didn't just sing, I screamed. Vietnam has never heard, or seen (I tried to work my stage presence) karaoke like this before.

Ok, so I must say that my three-day boat trip in Halong Bay was amazing, even though it was fairly cold and foggy. After a long boat ride into the area, on our first day we stopped at some impressive caves where our guide pointed out notable natural sights in the caves formation that included a giant finger (which I have to say looked like a massive rock penis), a turtle, a dragon and a woman. Other than the turtle, I had a hard time seeing some of what she was showing us. It's a bit like trying to see what other people interpret in clouds. Just before dinner we also climbed to the top of one of the cliffs for a view of the region.

Our second day we spent hiking Cat Ba island in the morning and sea kyaking in the afternoon. I was worried when I saw that the itinerary included "Monkey Island" after the sea kyaking. In the end we were told that it was too cold for the monkeys to come out so we skpped the island. The group was audibly disappointed we weren't going to see any monkeys. Outwardly I also tried to appear disappointed. Inside I was clapping with glee. Monkeys should not be tourist attractions, even if they are supposed to have mohawks like the monkeys of Halong Bay. Monkeys with mohawk haircuts? Who cares? They're still vile creatures.

The karaoke incident took place on the evening of day 2 in Halong Bay. As mentioned, there was a lot of beer consumed, which made day three on the boat quite difficult for me. I spent most of the third day wrapped in my sarong, laying down when given the opportunity, listening to my I-Pod, staring at the rock formations passing by my window, wishing that I handn't drank so much.

Still, I can't stop humming "Like a Virigin". Vietnamese karaoke anyone?


Blogger DaveHooper said...

It was your first time. Thats why you had to sing "like a virgin". You didnt get to do karaoke here because of the snobby New York chick at the pub that night. You know the other one wanted to come! PS--Im still getting ribbed about my last karaoke, my voice kept cracking.

5:40 AM  

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