There is a scene from a famous film where a couple evades the turmoil of their country by taking a boat trip through a fascinating archipelago. For countless hours, the lovers lie ensconced in their vessel as it glides past a fairyland of forest-covered peaks rising from the sea.
The fantastic setting of this unforgettable episode is actually Halong Bay in the northern Vietnamese province of Quang Ninh, an easy two- to three-hour ride from Hanoi.
We arranged our cruise through our hotel in the capital. Since we had the good fortune of staying in an InterContinental, I expected that every detail of this marine experience would be organized.
It turned out that no one had looked into the matter of rest stops. The establishment where our driver chose to break our journey was not the most pleasant.