We arrived at Halong Bay which is a very busy tourist attraction. There are a lot of tourist boats, so if you want to be alone, this is not the place to go. However, Halong Bay is quite spectacular with approx 1600 limestone islands and is a place not to be missed. My photos don’t really do it justice.
There are so many boats to choose from when booking this trip, it’s mind boggling but we eventually decided on Halong Fantasea Cruises. We were taken by tender (small boat for you non yachties) to our boat for the next two days which had just eight cabins. We gathered in the restaurant where we were given a welcome drink and allocated our cabin which was really quite nice. We didn’t appreciate that everything was going to be to such a strict timetable. We only had 20 mins then we had to be ready for lunch. The food over the whole trip was varied and lots of it. As we left the marina it was a long line of boats, mostly going in the same direction. We had a sun deck and so we were able to take in the views as we sailed along.
We made our way to Sung Sot Cave and then transferred to the tender to take us ashore. The Cave was enormous. The cave was very busy as everywhere seemed to have been lately. Our guide took us round the cave and gave a talk as we went round, which was quite amusing.
Later in the day we were taken to the Luon Cave area where some of the guests did kayaking, we declined this. We stayed anchored here for the night and there were only three other boats, the previous bay had about 30 or so anchored. After dinner Ian tried squid fishing. It appears that in the last year only four people have actually caught one and yes you’ve guessed correctly Ian did not catch one!
So sailing around the bay is nice and relaxing, so let’s have breakfast at 7.00am, well there was no chance of Ian getting there for that, so off I went. 7.45 we are off to Ti Top Island, for a trek up the hillside. This again even at this time of day was busy.
Back to the boat we had a final couple of hours before lunch at 11.30. This was so we were ready to leave the boat when we arrived back at 12.30 to get the coach back to Hanoi.
From Hanoi we started our homeward journey. We booked into a hotel near Hanoi airport as we had a flight to Kualar Lumpur the following morning. Again we checked into a hotel near the airport, a bit of luxury this time, so we spent the last few hours enjoying the sun and the pool before our flight the following morning
Vietnam is a great place, very friendly people and we would definitely recommend seeing it if you get the chance.