Amongst the Karsts

Trip Start Nov 07, 2012
Trip End Dec 14, 2012

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Today we had a full day sailing around the limestone karsts of Cat Ba Island and Halong Bay. Can this place get any more stunning!!! What can I say??? The scenery is just mind blowing, its just too much to take in!  We went on an old wooden boat sailed by a non English speaking crew and we had the best time. We sailed for 9 hours through the karsts, passing through fishing villages (these people live on the water, their houses and livelihood floating on barrels, there are about 4000 living on these floating villages in Halong Bay).

We were taken to a cave system which we could explore on foot, we had to crawl through tunnels which Rune found exciting. The stalagtites and stalagmites were impressive.
After a surprisingly delicious lunch of rice, veggies, squid, fish and spring rolls, cooked by a couple of young Vietnamese males we went of kayaking. We were left to our own devices, so off we went and found a couple of interesting caves to paddle through, and even saw some wild monkeys-awesome!

We finished off the trip with a visit to Monkey Island, all that is here is a place to buy a drink and lots of pesky monkeys, Oh! and an absolutely beautiful view of the karsts and Cat Ba Island, If it wernt for the aggressive monkeys (& thats all thanks to humans) then this Island would be paradise.

I waved to the old man sailing the boat as we were leaving and asked Rune to wave and say 'thank you', the man waved back furiously shouting 'bye bye baby' to Rune. He has been referred to as 'baby' or 'bambino' a few times, which is not as bewildering to him after a few days of being here. Due to his long blond locks, he has been referred to as a 'girl' or a 'woman' which he hasnt got used to. Im just hoping he doesnt want his hair cut off (cos I dont want him to!)

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