Halong Bay, Viet Nam
20° 53' N 107° 39' E
Sep 05, 2005 11:13
Distance 188km

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Text written in: English

Crusin' in Halong Bay

We (sadly) left Hanoi for a 3 day cruise around Vietnam's natural wonder: Halong Bay. It's a bay filled with thousands of rock islands, ranging from tiny to hundreds of square kilometers big. Legend has it that a dragon that lives beneath the water surfaced and slapped the ground with his tail. The places he missed became the rock islands, the places he hit became the bay. Still fuzzy on the geological reason behind it all.

The cruise was lovely, the weather sunny and hot and the scenery beautiful. The first day we cruised around, went swimming off the boat and had the option to kayak (which we opted out of. Too much exertion). We swam through a small sea cave into an isolated bay, surrounded on all sides by clifs- beautiful. Spent the night on the boat and docked the next morning on Cat Ba island, the biggest one in the bay and a national park. Everyone in the group went biking around the island except for Brooke and me (too much effort. Hills were involved and it was unbearably hot)- we went to the beach instead. The beach was gorgeous and calm and, most importantly, I didn't get burned. The bike ride, however, was worth the effort.  Laurel was the "hard core one" and biked around 18k in the heat on a bike that wouldn't change out of 1st gear.  Went back out on the boat that afternoon for more swimming and kayaking before heading back to Cat Ba for the night. We left the next morning for mainland, but had one more stop for swimming before the journey ended. Then it was a 3.5 hour bus ride back to Hanoi (but the distance was only 130km! Slower than Japan!). Now we're killing time before our night train to the mountain town of Sapa where we'll be for some cool weather (yes!!), a bit of trekking and visiting the ethnic minority villages.

Photos / videos of "Crusin' in Halong Bay":

The famous Halong Bay Halong at sunset Cooling off in the water Beach in Cat Ba