07.03.2011 18 °C
Throughout our trip across South East Asia, Halong Bay was mentioned time and time again from every traveler who had gone there, so we knew it was a must see. We decided on a 2 day 1 night excusion avoiding a quick visit and a 3hr drive there and back.
Halong Bay features more than 3000 awesome limestone karsts and islands of various sizes. Our first day was more or less foggy so we weren't able to see the vastness of the bay until the following day. It was magnificent, making the entire trip worth it.
Our boat was really nice, comfortably sleeping 14 in private rooms with a dinning room and a sundeck up above. We didn't have the greatest weather, infact we should have brought more clothes. It was a drastic change from the hot beach weather we had bacome accusomed to, to rainy costal weather.
Our tour guide was more than difficult to understand and loved to talk so it was very easy to zone out except for the word 'regulations' everything was a 'regulations' . For some odd reason you need your passport with you when on these waters because of the 'regulations' if not, you can't go. Unfortunately this did happen to a few people, and they were sent home. To say the least, the tour company was lacking greatly in organization, and neglected to tell everyone to bring their passports. Diana and I do so just out of second nature.
On the tour, we saw a spectacular limestone cave that went into multiple caverns with stalagmites, stalagetites and pools of water. The place looked very magestic with the ceiling 10's of metres high and so large you could fit multiple houses in them. I'm intrigued to see more caves like this one, hopefully in the states. We also saw a floating village, equipted with a school and all.
The group of people we met on the boat made the trip entirely. We drank and played cards all night long while the boat slowly spun us in circles around our anchor....very weird feeling. I have to say it was very eery knowing that not to long ago a boat of the same style had sank in that bay. All was well with us, just a few mice surrying inbetween the walls...quite a dreadful sound.
Following the trip we had very little time to gather our belongings for our 14hr night bus escapade to Hue. At that point we could only hope for the best and try and get it over as quickly as possible. The experience was heart-stopping. Our seats were beds, but they didn't fully recline and they were narrow for a little asian body, but that wasn't the worst part. The worst part was all the swerving and sudden slamming on the breaks in the black of night that were terrifying. On a good note, I'm here writting this blog about it so we survived....a sleepless night.
Until next time...