Halong Bay

Trip Start Mar 09, 2008
Trip End Dec 10, 2008

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Monday, April 7, 2008

Halong Bay...wow! It is definitely a beautiful place! We stayed on a junker boat for 3 days and 2 nights. A little different from what they (tour company) told us it would be like but all in all very nice. We went kayaking at 6am the first morning, which was awesome as it was totally calm and cool. We paddled around some of the floating fishing villages and by some caves. It was only a 30 minutes jaunt but it was nice. Then Keir and I got dropped off on one of the islands called Cat Ba Island. A bunch of people were going to go on a trek and we decided to go straight to the beach! We rented a motorbike and drove out to the beach and stayed until we had to meet the rest of the crew to go back to the boat for the night. It was nice just to relax and enjoy the ocean. It's been awhile since we have had the ocean close by, so it was a treat! Food on the boat left little to be desired. For example, one meal was a plate of salted peanuts, a plate of french fries, a huge bowl of rice, something that resembled a fishy tasting tofu, and sauteed bean sprouts. Kinda weird. Meanwhile the crew had a huge plate of steaming prawns, and beautiful chili and lemongrass steamed spinach etc. It was the same for breakfast too...they all had a huge bowl of steaming Pho with lots of meat and veggies (the garlic smell woke me up in the morning) and they gave us each 1 fried egg (pretty much deep fried with all the oil) and a plate full of plain white bread...not toast..bread. Weird eh? But I guess the scenery made up for it. There were 3 caves that we stopped at too. One was huge and totally done up for the tourist visitors but still neat with all the stalagmites and stalactites. It took about 20 minutes to walk through, and the other ones were definitely not as impressive but still cool.
Cruising around on the boat was nice. They had a top patio with sun beds to lie on. It was nice just to sit and appreciate where we were. Each island it huge and it seems like they are just floating on the water. I won't be able to explain it to give it any justice, so I'll try to put the pics up with this.
The we headed back to Hanoi to catch the overnight sleeper bus to Hue. Hanoi is such a huge, busy, dirty and loud city. Not a favourite. Everyone is honking at each other, the streets are full with scooters and cars that don't fit on the streets. It's nuts. When we got on the sleeper bus  to Hue, I was relieved!!
More soon!!

Love Kylie and Keir
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