Cruising on our Junk

Trip Start Jan 05, 2010
Trip End Jan 25, 2010

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Where I stayed
Jasmine Junk

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Thursday, January 7, 2010

We were picked up at the hotel at 8:00am by a private car (very comfy) for a 3.5 hour drive to Halong Bay (not so comfy), to meet our Junk. We had an English speaking guide who was able to answer our never ending stream of questions about Hanoi and Vietnam, and kept us amused with anecdotes about the area.

We stopped at Dai Viet Finearts on the way to stock up on locally made laquer ware and embroideries. It was so big we were overwhelmed and even a seasoned shopper like Kym needed to take a minute to consider the purchases! We left empty handed and called in on the way back 2 days later.

The Halong bay area is a World Heritage Site and is spread across about 1,500 sq kms. There are more than 2,000 pinnacle shaped limestone outcrops in the area that were spectacular even in  overcast weather.

The Junk surpassed our expectations and was very nicely appointed (other than Kym locking herself in the bathroom due to a broken door!). The staff were very attentive and made sure we had everything we needed. Lunch on the first day was a fabulous seafood meal - about 7 courses in total. Against our better judgement we tackled a bottle of wine and settled into life about a cruise boat.

During the afternoon we stopped at Hang Sung Sot cave on the island of Bo Hon. The view from the cave over the bay was panoramic and well worth the walk. Back to the boat for a rest then we sailed to a floating fishing village where we were rowed around in bamboo boats.

Dinner was a delicious seafood BBQ (so much for loosing weight in Vietnam) and we called it a night early.

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