Ha Long Bay

Trip Start Jul 29, 2009
Trip End Jan 23, 2010

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Junk Boat

Flag of Vietnam  , Quảng Ninh,
Sunday, October 4, 2009

We came to Hanoi with the expectation of not spending very much time in the city. We had a tour planned to head to Ha Long Bay and spend several nights on a Junk Boat. It took us all week to be able to organize a trip to Ha Long Bay because when we first arrived, so did Typhoon Katsana. It was a really cool experience (for me only) to be able to experience a typhoon though, because of my extreme interest of severe weather. It really wasn't much but some wind and a lot of rain, like I'd expected, but I was more stoked about it than probably anyone in Vietnam, including Tara. Luckily, we were able to squeeze a trip in at the end of our stay here in Hanoi. We were able to do it right before Super Typhoon Parma arrived. It is not the best feeling to be on the Vietnamese coast, on a junk boat, and then hear that there is a SUPER typhoon headed right at us. Luckily we were able to finish with our trip with enough time to get back to Hanoi and fly to Ho Chi Minh City that night, before the storm hit. 
Ha Long Bay was really cool. We spent three days meandering through the coolest Limestone formations that jut out of the water and are as high as 500-600 feet. It is a really unique place. We really enjoyed hearing about the origin of these formations as well as hiking on top of them and exploring inside of them. We visited many Limestone caves, one of which we had the opportunity to do some spelunking. I was pissed because I had my last nice pair of khaki shorts (that I haven't already ruined) and the only nice and expensive t-shirt that I own. No, I didn't wuss out this time!! So I had to miss out on this adventure. Tara went though with some of our Australian friends that were traveling with us and had nothing but great things to say about it. We stayed on the island of Cat Ba the second night. It was a really nice part of the trip because we had a great room in a nice resort right on the beach and it was included. The next day we had a very long day of traveling. 4 hours on the boat, 4 hours on a bus, and then a 2 hour flight to Ho Chi Minh City (formally Saigon). We were both really glad to put that day of traveling behind us.

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