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A Visit to Vietnam

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image Colorful boats inhabit the quiet harbor

Cruising Vietnam's South China Sea is enlightening, moving and brings some visitors full circle.

Our wooden tour boat glided along Ha Long Bay’s jade green waters. Located off the coast of Northeastern Vietnam, its stunning 620 square miles of seascape is one of the country’s five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Hundreds of towering karsts dotted the horizon. Vendors in little skiffs tapped on the side of our vessel, selling unfamiliar exotic fruits—mangos teen, Rambutan (aka Harry Cherry), longan, star and jack fruits.

This trip was to be a genuine taste of adventure. When Royal Caribbean invited me to be a guest on their Exotic Asia maiden voyage to Southeast Asia, I couldn’t say no. The centerpiece of the voyage would be visits to locations barely on the tourist map—four-days in Vietnam, a day in Cambodia, and the added bonus of landings in the more traveled destinations of Bangkok and Singapore.

Embarkation on the 2,435 passenger Rhapsody of the Seas was in Hong Kong, with the next day spent heading to the port of Haipong, gateway to Hanoi.

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