Ha Long Bay is an UNESCO site located in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. It is gorgeous! The bay consists of 1000’s of little islands in different sizes and shapes. There is also Bai Tu Long Bay and Cat Ba Island.
Taking the recommendation of my hostel, I booked a 2D/1N trip with Azela Cruises. It was fantastic! I was picked up at my hostel and we took a bus ride to the coast and then a ferry to Cat Ba Island. Another quick bus ride to the harbour and then we got in the small boat out to our boat.
My room was amazing. I had my own patio, a big bed and a real shower ~ with hot water and a window that looked out at the views.
Once on the boat we had lunch and I had a cold beer for my Dad and took a lot of pictures. On our boat was myself, a couple from Brussels and a family of 4 from Holland. Great group!
On the agenda for the rest of the afternoon was kayaking and swimming. I ended up staying on the boat relaxing because my cough was back and my nose was running again. I figured I was better off staying out of the water and resting. I mostly alternated between the top deck and my room with the AC. It was hot! The views were amazing!
Sweet Baby Jesus the food on the boat! It was so, so very good. Fresh shrimp (with bodies and eyes and legs that I had to pick off 🤢), oysters, squid, fish, spring rolls, salads, chicken, rice, vegetables and fancy carved fruit. I ate it all and it shows and I don’t care.
In the evening, this lady came by on her boat selling snacks. After a few beer, we all had a look!
The sunset was beautiful.
I missed the sunrise because I slept in. When I opened my eyes, this is what I saw. Then I got to enjoy a shower with my window open along with the view.
In the morning we were off for a bamboo boat ride (that wasn’t made of bamboo anymore) by some caves.
This is how you park a boat. Just squeeze it in.
We transferred to the bamboo boat. I was most impressed with the young lady rowing us about. One of the men in our group gave it a try and couldn’t do it. The views were breathtaking here. It started to rain a bit and it was actually nice. Apparently parts of King Kong were filmed here.
On our way back to the boat, we scooped up a fair bit of plastic from the water. My understanding was that all the boats do this. There was sadly a lot of plastic in the water.
Look at this little snail. It tickled as he walked over my hand.
We put out a fishing net in the morning and checked it on the way back. We only caught one mini octopus and we put him back in the water.
I learned how to make spring rolls. Fairly simple, but I’ve never done it before and I’ll be making them when I get home. I may have to start bringing them to parties instead of my Mexican Chili Dip.
There were other boats around us, but apparently since it’s low season this was nothing compared to the number during high season. I really liked having the views and not being completely surrounded by other boats in a “parking lot” of boats. The more I travel, the more anti tourist I get, even though I’m a tourist too. If that makes sense!
I had a fabulous time!!
I’m now back in Hanoi for a couple nights, in the same wonderful hostel and in my same bed. My laundry is getting done overnight and I’ll have clean clothes first thing in the morning.
I ran out of the day time cold pills and it’s back ~ runny nose and a gross cough. I went back to the pharmacy and he remembered me. After another discussion about my “snotty nose” as he called it and colours and textures, he gave me different stuff and some freebies. I’m pleasantly drugged up again (no tolerance, I’m stoned on one regular strength Tylenol) and had an early night.
I’m disappointed I didn’t dive in this area, but with this cold I can’t dive. All is well though, I will be back someday!
Jackie is “Mom” to one amazing son, an IT professional and an obsessed traveller. She spends her time reading, golfing at Ladies League and implementing software projects. Jackie has travelled to all 7 continents and 90 countries and is always planning the next destination and adventure!