Poor Simon didn’t stand a chance today when Huang told us we were going to Ha Long and our first stop was a pearl factory. Pearls are my favourite, and whilst Simon has already bought me a string of them and a bracelet to match, you can’t have too many – right.
It was about a one and a half hour drive to Ha Long and when we arrived at the factory we were given a intro into pearl purchasing, including how to spot a fake. Then a bit of retail therapy, a single tear drop pearl, freshwater.I could have gone crazy, especially with inspirational pictures of Diana, the Queen, Michelle Obama and Julia Gillard on the walls all donning pearls. I do like the way the shops try to cater to western tourists, but get it just a little bit wrong.
After a seafood lunch, we then road the bikes 30kms around Tuan Chau Island, which is just of the coast but joined by a bridge. The riding was much better today as the temperature had dropped and the humidity was replaced by a soft breeze and the odd spot of rain.
We finished the ride with some green tea at Ha Long port, before heading back to the hotel for a rest.