During our two week trip to Vietnam this past semester break Alex and I spent three days on Ha Long Bay. It was a bit misty, and bit cool, but we still had several opportunities to swim in the salty water. I love the ocean and the sand, but the one thing I hate about swimming in the sea is that salty residue that is left on your body after you dry off.
This was the perfect topic for me because I’ve been meaning to post my third installment about our trip (Part I: Hoan Kiem Lake and Part II: The Streets of Hanoi) but I just haven’t managed to do it yet, so I needed that extra little push.
Ha Long Bay was absolutely stunning. You can’t tell very well in my pictures because it was so misty, but there are tiny limestone islands dotted all throughout the Bay. In fact, we only saw around 400 of the thousands of islands that are part of this natural wonder. We did the one night on the boat / one night on Cat Ba Island combo (only because the two nights on the boat was sold out) and it was perfect.
The boat was not the normal boat that HandSpan Travel usually uses, so it wasn’t quite as nice as it should have been, but it was cozy. We had a little cabin with a double bed and a wall-to-ceiling tiled bathroom (no shower on the boat for superkimbo – too gross). The food was delicious, if a bit salty. Each meal had 5 – 6 courses (food was included in the price of the trip, but not the drinks – that’s where they get ya) of Vietnamese food. Some of the dishes were fabulous, and some were soggy French fries. I’m not sure if this was the fault of the travel company, or the fault of the crew on the boat. Either way we ate well enough for the 2 days of meals on the boat.
On the first day we toured a huge limestone cavern and cruised around the Bay. On the second day we went kayaking, swimming, more kayaking and then traveled to Cat Ba Island. We definitely got very lucky with the hotel – it was much nicer than I ever could have anticipated. After a relaxing night in the largest bed I have ever slept in (seriously, it was fit for a queen) we were off on an early start back to Hanoi.
Read more about our trip:
- How do vehicles talk?
- The return from vacation…
- PhotoHunt: Technology
- Pictures, pictures, and too many more pictures
- The Highlights: Vietnam
- PhotoHunt: Silver
- Vietnam: Hanoi Part I : Hoan Kiem Lake
- Vietnam: Hanoi Part II: The streets of the Old Quarter
- PhotoHunt: Broken