Hanging Out In Ha Long Bay.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Monday, March 1, 2010

Our day began with a knock on our train door telling us we were about to pull into Hanoi station. Our sleeper carriage had again been pretty comfortable and now it was off on a three and a half hour drive to Halong Bay. Well not straight away. We had organized our Vietnam section of our trip through a Vietnam based travel company Aurora Travel and they had thoughtfully organized a hotel room for us for an hour, to enable us to shower and change our clothes. It made a huge difference to head off on a 12 hour excursion, having had a shower and a good breakfast.

Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage area of beautiful limestone islands rising out of the still waters of the bay. Most tourists do an overnight stay on a Chinese junk or upmarket cruise boat but we opted to do a day tour only and given that the weather was inclement , it proved to be a good choice. After the long  drive through the constant  traffic bedlam that is Vietnam,  made worse by drizzling rain all the way, we arrived at the wharf and found that our Chinese junk was just for us -  not only that but we had three staff  as well as Tam to look after just us!  As soon as we were on board a bottle of red wine was brought to us (at a cost of course!) and as we cast off from shore we were up on deck sipping our wine in the drizzling rain and not minding a bit!

We stopped off at the World Heritage Caves and walked through them, marveling at the shapes and colours, then it was back to wine sipping, and later being served an absolutely spectacular seafood feast as we motored through the calm and eerily foggy seascape. Alas lunch was over then came the "sell". On board were souvenirs and jewellery and our lovely hostess now became a sales lady. Avan bought me some earings in consideration that I do have a birthday soon and our hostess had done a superb job of our lunch.  Being that we are travelling with cabin luggage only, we are strictly "no souvenirs" this trip but earings can find some space!

On our long trip back to Hanoi, we mused about how the traffic seems to find its way around each other. Our driver would confidently pass traffic with trucks coming straight for us, tooting his horn, chatting on the phone and somehow the three lanes of traffic would  fit on a two lane road and it's on we go. It’s just best not to look…. 

Back to Hanoi for the night at the same hotel, Thang Long Opera then it's off to Hoi An our next Vietnam destination.    

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Linda Webster on

Wow, sounds like you two are having a wonderful time.

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