Rocking in the waters of Halong Bay

Trip Start Feb 16, 2010
Trip End Mar 09, 2010

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Where I stayed
On a junk boat

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Thursday, February 18, 2010

Left at 830am for Halong Bay trip. It was a 2 hours ++bus journey to Halong City. plenty of town sights along the way. Also saw a massive thermal power plant. Arrived at Halong bay harbour and it was very crowded. Hopped onto our junk boat and proceeded to have lunch on the water. Met a couple of people - Jen (american studying in sydney), Oliver (UK lawyer working in singapore), Alba (spanish volunteer who just arrived in Hanoi for a 8 months stint) and 2 chinese undergrads studying vietnamese language in Hanoi.
After lunch, we stopped to explore Thien Cung Cave with its amazing stalagmite caves. It is huge and the the trail is long. The sights from the cave's viewing plaform were simply breathtaking. The junk boat then took us to a jetty north of Cat Ba Island to drop off visitors staying at the island's hotel. We then left for an area near Hang Sung Sot and anchored for the night together with many other junk boats. All we can see were lights from other boats and was peacefully quiet from the bustle of Hanoi streets. It was freezing. The hot water was only came on from 530-615pm. After dinner, we had tea and beers, and were just chilling out at the dining area, chatting the night away. Even at night, the atmosphere was eerie and mystical.
The cabins were ok though the doors and windows were not draftproof and there was no heating at all. Although small, the cabin was fully maximised in space. We kept wondering if the sceptic tank was discharged into the waters. Sleeping was nice with the slow rocking motion of the sea waves, with images of Halong Bay still fresh in my memories.
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