Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cat Ba Night: The Fire

Huyen and I ended up staying at the hotel of the man who rented us our motorbike. As we strolled into the hotel after the beach, he asked us if we would like to have an extremely fresh seafood dinner. He told Huyen there was a good floating restaurant that he recommended. We thanked him for his suggestion but said we just wanted to walk around and find a place to eat for ourselves.

After strolling along the main strip we decided to eat in one of the hundred seafood restaurants. We feasted on crabs and sea mantises (not sure of the plural spelling). Yes, sea mantis. What is a sea mantis? Well, I'm assuming it's a distant cousin of the preying mantis. I had never seen one before so I took a picture to share with everyone:

They sort of look like giant shrimp but actually taste a lot like lobster. The beauty of them is that they're really easy to eat. If you're wondering why they are in a plastic bag in the picture it's because the restaurant owner had just scooped them out of a tank, along with our crabs, to prepare our dinner.

On our way back to the hotel I saw smoke in the distance. We walked towards the water and joined a large crowd watching a giant fire on the water. Turns out a floating restaurant -- perhaps the one that was suggested to us -- had caught on fire.

Luckily nobody was hurt in the fire. The scariest moment was when a dog appeared on the dock and started to bark wildly. After a few minutes the dog, scared out of its mind, jumped into the water and started to swim. Immediately some fishermen sped over to the dog and pulled it into their boats. It was the happiest ending possible considering the situation.