Halong Bay Day 2

Trip Start Sep 16, 2012
Trip End Oct 08, 2012

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

After a surprisingly pleasant sleep we woke about 5:30am to a drizzly sort of morning, & desperate for a coffee, but we were told that coffee will be available from the galley from 7:00am, so we waited it out &  after i showered checked the galley every 5 mins or so. The coffee man must have slept in because no coffee was available to about 7:30am & i quickly drank 2 cups so as to feel normal.

Breakfast was served at 8:00am as we cruised thru Bai Tu Long bay to a fishing village, breakfast was only about 5 courses which included Pho Ga which was delicious, again all the food was great.

We arrived at Cong Dam fishing village around 10:00am & we were paddled thru the village by the local's, the young girl who paddled us had a beautiful smile. The magnificent beauty of mountains & sea can make you fall in love with Cong Dam area. This area has been preserved for 340 Million years. There is a lot of coral reefs & underground lakes inside the limestone mountain, underwater caves & clear blue waters.

Cong Dam is an old small village, which has retained largely intact it's traditional fishing culture with a population of 120 people. It is far from the mainland & is isolated from the normal tourist route so the landscape here still retains it's primitive features & a very fresh enviroment. Most villagers haver never put foot on the mainland. As we were paddled thru the village it was amazing to see the way they live & make a living.

We stopped & visited the school & watched the beautiful kids enjoying their classes & walked thru the museum. We then paddled across to the pearl farm to see how they grow & harvest the pearls. Fortunately for me, i didn't have my credit card on me as Di took a liking to few items.

We were then taken back to our junk where we had some free time for a swim before lunch. Lunch again was a 7 course feast as we sailed to a beach near Thien canh son cave. We enjoyed some more free time on the sun deck before we came to the beach. We then ashore to the beach & enjoyed a couple of hours of relaxation on this beautiful beach. We were given the option of going for another kayaking trip but i declined the offer as i was still recovering from yesterdays physical activity :).We watched the spectacular sunset across the bay. The Dragon Pearl 2 looked spectacular from the beach with her sails up.The weather ended up being very hot again today.

Dinner tonight was in Thien Canh son cave, so we we went back to the boat to shower & change. At around 7:00pm we went aboard the tender to the cave, the stairway to the cave was lit up & was a spectacular sight. We climbed the stairs to the cave & entered the first part of the cave which was like a big hall, we then entered the main part of the cave where the dining table was set up & was a spectacular sight. As we entered the dining area we were all welcomed by the crew who were standing & clapping us in.

Dinner was being cooked on bbq's out the back of the cave which the crew had set up earlier. We were asked on the boat what drinks we wanted & they were then put in an esky a bought into the cave for us to enjoy.

We all enjoyed another multiple course feast featuring bbq'd seafood which the crew had prepared with sensational presentation, it was truly a beautiful meal in a stunning location & was a certainly a highlight of our trip & will live long in our memories. 

After dinner, the crew were introduced to us, speeches were made & one of the crew members sang us a song. A few of the teenagers on board recriprocated with a version of 'home amongst the gum trees' then we all sang 'Waltzing matilda' to the crew, who most knew the words. 

We then made the walk back thru the cave & down the stairs to the tender & arrived back on the boat around 9:30pm. A storm was brewing & the Captain wanted to set sail to the same cove we were anchored in the night before, so we had a few nightcaps of Mai thai's & Mojito's on the moonlight deck as we sailed towards the cove & Di & myself called an end to our night around 10:30pm & went to bed.



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