Cruising the Bay

Trip Start Nov 15, 2008
Trip End Jun 15, 2009

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Thursday, June 4, 2009

 The trip out to Halong Bay was fine, a bit squashy, but fine.  We had to wait in the scorching heat for ages until we were finally able to get on to our boat, but it was worth while.  While not super deluxe it was a nice boat and we had a comfy bed and air con.  Also Jackie, Adam and us had a private balcony which made us feel a bit more special.
 The food was good, lots of sea food and nice and fresh.  For the first day we sailed to the first stop, the ‘amazing cave’. I don’t know if it was exactly amazing, but it was very big and nice and cool compared to the out side temp.  We were then able to kayak about the bay for a measly 30 mins and explore a few caves on our own.  It was then back on the boat for another hour or so of sailing.  It was a really nice afternoon, we sat up on the roof drinking some cold beers and watching the hundreds of towering islands floating by.
 We had a great night eating and drinking and of course singing karaoke!  We all drank a little too much, and even Dave then had the courage to sing a few lines, it was the gambler that eventually got him up to sing.  We knew it was time to go to bed though when we started trying to sing Vietnamese songs with the boat crew.  The next morning we had to all get up way to early to eat breakfast and clear out our rooms for the next people who were to be getting on.
We were next dropped off at Cat Ba Island where we were going to do a trek up a mountain to see the great view.  I was feeling so sick I was sure I was going to vomit half way up.  By some amazing feat I made it to the top but opted to sit in the shade rather then attempt to climb up the viewing platform.  As it turns out it was a good idea because the view up the top was not better then where I was sitting.  It wasn’t even that great, the bay was not to be seen. I would recommend not doing the trek, not worth it, especially if you have a hang over!
Our next stop was to be Monkey Island where we were going to be spending the night.  This was one of the highlights I think.  We had our own beach with cute little beach huts.  The huts had a private bathroom and air con, so it was very fancy for us.  The beach was beautiful and the water so nice and blue.  We were warned about monkeys coming into our rooms and stealing things but we didn’t even see a monkey let alone get anything stolen.  That afternoon I was feeling sleepy so stayed at the beach to read on a deck chair while the others went out for a kayak.  One of the kayaks ended up filling up with water and near sinking, so I was quiet happy with my choice even though they saw a monkey on another island (yes I know I am lazy).
The final day was spent travelling back to Hanoi.  We had to get back on a small boat back to Cat Ba Island then drive over to the other side to get back on another small boat to take us to our big boat which would take us back to the harbour.  Yes it was as annoying as it sounds.  The whole trip was really nice, but there were so many moves and changes involved, it would have all been much nicer if it involved a bit more swimming and sailing rather then jumping on and off different means of transport.
We got back to Hanoi mid afternoon and wasted a few hours before we had to get our sleeper train to Hoi An.  We said good bye to Jackie and Adam and went to our last stop in our very short Vietnam trip.
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starlagurl on

Despite all the transportation difficulties the photos look like it was all worth it. Good show!

Louise Brown
TravelPod Community Manager

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