I find it hard to explain how much we loved our Halong Bay trip! The bay itself is a 3 hour journey from Hanoi, and the scenery along the way is pretty cool…they need to buy a minibus with more leg-room, but it was still a good trip. Apparently our cruise had been lucky, because a lot of the permits (that a boat needs to enter the bay) hadn’t been given out today, due to earlier bad weather, but thankfully we had ours. Our guide got us all to know each other by telling everyone a bit about our trip which was funny, especially when he said that Lee looks like Wayne Rooney!!! (He doesn’t) Funny though!
We eventually climbed aboard our ship (Glory Cruises), and after welcome drinks were given our room key. Oh my gosh our room. We were expecting a tiny little cabin, but what we got was amazing! We had a huge window, pretty much the size of the whole wall, and the bathroom was bigger than bathrooms we’ve had in our other accommodation along the way! There was like a spa shower, and we even had air con which was delightful!
We were taken to a floating village which was pretty cool. We were supposed to be kayaking, but they ran out and so a lot of us were taken round the caves in bamboo boats, before we got a quick 15 minutes in a kayak. Kayaking was really fun, though me and Lee tended to go round in circles…(as I was at the front, I’m blaming Lee)!
We stopped at our place for the night, and once we were anchored we could go for a swim. I was expecting the water to be freezing, but it was actually quite warm! This is going to sound stupid, but it was also really salty, like, exceptionally salty! A couple of fish may have touched us while we were in there (or at least I’m hoping they were fish), but it was ok. We were in the sea as the sun was starting to set, so it was beautiful and red, and an eagle was circling not too far away, it was beautiful. After amazing showers, we were enjoying some Hanoi beers on the upper deck before we all went to tea.
The food here is just ridiculous, sat on a table of six you get all eight courses (between you) from the menu…the food just didn’t stop coming!
We were really lucky because in the night there was a huge storm, which we love. Lee was probably slightly less appreciative as at 3 am he was trying to get back to sleep, but every time I heard thunder I was up out of bed and staring out the window! The thunder was so loud, and lasted forever; I saw a bolt of lightning and heard the crackle again (like in Kuala Lumpur), and the flashes of lightning lit up the little bay so it looked like it was the middle of the day – beautiful!
The following day we stopped at ‘Surprising Cave’. It’s called surprising because all of the stalactites and stalacmites look like ‘things’. I saw things because for the vast majority of them, you definitely need to either use your imagination, or still be drunk from the night before! Though the cave was beautiful, and the views of the bay were amazing.
So basically, Halong Bay is amazing, and you have to do it! It’s so ridiculously beautiful, it really does deserve to be a current natural wonder of the world. Even though I did get eight mosquito bites…