Jan 18, 2013
Jul 08, 2013
Leaving Hanoi bright and early we got a bus to Halong bay where we transferred onto a small rib to take us to our junk (the larger boat we would be staying on). At first all we could see was a mass of tourists on the same style boats but as we moved away from the hoards we began to see the familiar landscape that we had seen depicted on so many paintings and postcards all along our journey through Vietnam. The island formations are so striking and the water is an amazing turquoise green from the limestone although sadly the cloudy weather didn't do it's full beauty justice. We got off on one of the islands to view some of the best caves in the bay and our guide took great glee in pointing out various phallic formations in the rocks! We were then able to get on the water in kayaks to explore the small floating fishing village for ourselves, before returning to our boat for a delicious supper spread. Our room on the boat was considerably nicer than most places we've stayed on land so after a good nights sleep we were ready to trek up to the steep top of one of the islands to enjoy a good view over the whole bay the following morning. We then relaxed on the boat as we chugged back to the harbour and I got in some much needed French practice with some Parisian travellers in our tour group. All in all a worthwhile trip despite the vast numbers of tourists.