Halong Bay, Vietnam
For another couple of
days, while in the Hanoi surroundings, we had already planned
to take a cruise through Halong Bay - a UNESCO world heritage
site. The bay has hundreds of islets mostly made of limestone,
making the place a very popular tourist destination.
Spectacular overall scenery
and wonderful weather, we had a very nice time but the quality
of the junks (wooden boats) were a bit questionable. And
we booked one of the more expensive and recommended ones...(Yikes,
wonder what the others were like). But oh well, it was only
for one night.
Along with enjoying some nice food,
we went kayaking, marveled at the view, and also visited
a few caves, but didn't have too much more time to explore.
We recommend spending 2 nights here as it is an almost a 4
hour drive from Hanoi, which definitely adds up - just be careful what company you choose to go with.
Except for a few of the details, it was well worth the trip
because of its unique scenery (although the immense garbage
spread around the waters didn't add to splendor of the experience,
let's stop the comments here), but that aside, the bay
is definitely something you don't see every day and is located
in a very special setting. Definitely worth it to see!
'Halong Bay Junk
Cruising Halong Bay aboard this junk, the
Pinta Gold, for 2 days and 1 night.
There must be a few hundred of
these junks in the harbor.
Hope there are life vests
onboard this thing...!
The Journey Begins...
Lounging on one of the sun chairs with a glass of wine,
snapping some photos,
and about to enjoy the sunset.
People chilling out on the upstairs deck
- we did meet an English couple during our
excursion and shared some great laughs partnered with a
few drinks, which was perfect
especially as it "somewhat" helped us avoid seeing the many
rats living onboard
(they became very visible around midnight - eeeek!!).
We heard them running around
above our heads all night long too, yuck!
And the sun sets over the beautiful scenery
in Halong Bay. Ahh, how romantic!
It's our 14th anniversary, and we dine at
a private table for two on the front of
our junk to celebrate!
Afterward, it's champagne for everyone on
the house! The celebration continued
well into the wee hours of the morning until it was just
us and the rats left!
The next morning, we are off sailing again,
making a quick photo stop
with a wonderful view of this very spectacular gift from
Johann admires the formations in this well
lit up cave.
Touring the area in a kayak. Some places
were very nice, others were infested by garbage.
Why do people dump garbage, especially where there are big
tourist $$ to be made,
just can't quite figure this one out. Government, tourism,
environmental lobbyists ???