Sailing through Halong Bay

Trip Start Dec 26, 2005
Trip End Jan 25, 2009

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Thursday, February 23, 2006

Travelling on an organised tour is a real luxury. I don't have to make any decisions... all I have to do is follow the guide and I'm loving it.

Today we boarded a private boat and cruised through the spectacular limestone karsts and emerald waters of Halong Bay... east of Hanoi. Hannah, Dave and Tom braved the cold water and swam the 400 or so metres from our boat to an island... they are so fit. Dave and Hannah are marathon runners so found it very easy. The boat was awesome... we had heaps of room to relax and roam up and down from the top that afforded excellent views. Whilst not as good as sailing through the Phi Phi islands of Thailand, it was still nevertheless very relaxing sailing on the tranquil waters of Halong Bay.

We enjoyed an absolutely sensational seafood lunch on board, accompanied by some very cheap but beautiful white Vietnamese wine. And I thought this was going to be a budget tour! What a fantastic way to start the tour. The first few days or so have given us an excellent opportunity to get to know each other and John takes the cake for being the group's loudest!

Following the four or so hour relaxing ride through Halong Bay we arrived at Cat Ba Island where the group had the option of going kayaking or visiting the national park. Given that I did an excellent kayak tour in Thailand, I decided to relax and explore the immediate area. The people in this area are very friendly... so much more relaxed than the hectic lifestyle of Hanoi.

It's great being taken to numerous local restuarants by our guide, Anh. The Vietnamese food is pure bliss... I've enjoyed every meal and can't wait to explore more.
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