Halong Bay… I’m sure you guys have all seen pictures of Vietnam’s famous “dragon descending bay.” The bay is filled with nearly 2 thousands islands and cliffs that emerge from the water.
Since this is a must-see sight in northern Vietnam, we couldn’t miss out. We bought a “two day, one night” cruise package (which actually only ends up being less than 24 hours on the boat) to Halong Bay. We didn’t know if such a short time in the bay was going to be worth the trip, but it was. Also, we were glad we didn’t book it any longer because the weather ended up being gloomy the whole week.
Despite the rain and mist, we ended up having a great time.
After a 4.5 hour bus ride from Hanoi, we made it to the bay. The bay was filled with hundreds of little ships waiting to take their passengers to the famous dragon descending cliffs.We boarded a life boat that took us to our little ship.
The ship was rather old, but that just added to the experience! We loved having windows that opened to the sea… If the weather had been bright and sunny, I’m sure we both would have jumped out our windows for a little swim every now and then. After traveling in our ship for about an hour, we were surrounded by the beautiful cliffs. These little brightly colored houses are homes to the sea villagers. Can you imagine living on the water like this?Our fist stop on the cruise was exploring some of the caves of Halong Bay. The view from the exit of the cave was breath taking. Our guide told us that on a clear day, you can see the mainland.
Next on the itinerary was a stop at one of the islands. Activities on this island include swimming and hiking. Since it was pretty chilly out, most people chose the latter activity. Along the hike to the top of the island, there were some cute monkeys in a cage. The hike was short, but rather treacherous due to the steep and muddy trail. As we were resting in our room before dinner, we saw a woman in a boat waiting outside our window. My first thought was to close the curtains, but Jared was rather excited about buying from a boat-vendor through our cabin window. Besides, how many times can you say you’ve done that?
Bye bye lady, thank you for the cheap snacks! That evening, we joined in a small Vietnamese cooking class where we learned how to make fried spring rolls. The dinner was very good. I was especially impressed by the carved carrot flowers.