I leave tomorrow morning for a three-day luxury junk cruise in Ha Long Bay. It’s for work, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it feels quite a bit like vacation as well. However you look at it, it should be a rollicking good time. Midnight karaoke, shuffleboard on the deck, really wide martini glasses and more. Though to be honest more likely it will be exactly the same as every other trip I’ve taken to the bay. Seafood lunch, a learn-how-to-make-springrolls tutorial, gawking from the safety of our rooms at small children trying to sell sea shells (by the sea shore), people on boats offering beer and crackers and other junk food (what else do tourists eat?), a trip to a “traditional” fishing village and as always that goddamn cave that everyone goes to that has rocks that look like pictures from your high school anatomy textbook. Lots of cellphone cameras, too.
I shouldn’t be this cynical; I’ve got a free, all-inclusive three-day ride ahead of me. The brochure even says there will be kayaking and a journey to a secret beach (then how do they know about it?). I really can’t think of a better way to spend the first three days of my week. I should stop my whining.