Welcome to Halong Bay

Trip Start Dec 01, 2011
Trip End Mar 02, 2012

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Wednesday, January 4, 2012

  Halong bay is a must see attraction 3-4 hours from Hanoi. Yes although cold and with its mysterious mist covering the 3000 or more incredible islands it's still amazing.

   We organized a tour with our hostel for a 3 day/2 night tour along Halong Bay on a junk boat called the Phongdong (sounds romantic ha!!). We had been given many recommendations on doing the two nights, rather than just the day trip (8 hours driving in one day? Crazy!) or a one night trip, as you get to see more of the islands. We could not disagree with that, we both would recommend the two nights.

    It’s a long drive, like I said 3-4 hours depending on the weather or traffic and due to the mist it’s a pretty boring and bumpy drive (although we did watch some sons of anarchy on the computer).

    We arrived in Halong City with every piece of winter gear we hadn’t sent home to a cloudy/grey 10C!! It was around 1pm before we boarded a small wooden ferry, which took us to 'Phongdong’. We are greeted by the captain and crew and given a welcome drink hot tea with a dash of ??????? they said that it was hot whisky but I am very doubtful that’s what it was.

  We collected our key to our cabin which was on the lower deck, and found it to be a cute room with great views of the limestone islands.  After we all got settled in we were treated to a seafood lunch which was great, rob enjoyed his vegetarian dishes on the "Vegetarian" table!! (Long story short, the veggies had to sit at the own table, ostracized from the rest of us)

 Our tour started off with a trip to Bo Hon Island to see the Sun Sot cave, it was pretty impressive although the tourism industry thought that colored lights showing the limestone features would be a great idea but appears more tacky then anything.   We were then taken to a floating city were we could either take a bamboo boat around or hire a canoe. Only 4 people decided to brave the very cold drizzly rain and go on the canoes we opted out and had someone else paddle s around….slack ha!!!!!!!

We spend the rest of the evening on our boat, watching the sunset on the islands, enjoying lots of food and the pleasant voices of those who decided to participate in karaoke… even Rob decided to have a go at some U2, and god knows what else (No Beach Boys, sorry Jim) and I only think he had 3-4 beers. He made friends with the Romanians on our boat…… Before we called it a night we even tried our hand at trying to catch some squid with our make shift bamboo fishing rod, but no success not sure why?
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