Ha Long Bay

Days 117/118, Monday/Tuesday 30/01 May 2012, Ha Long Bay.

I will make this is a short written post, with a few pictures as it wasn’t a great time, no particular reason I just did not have much fun…

The Good
Ha Long Bay is definitely beautiful and I was blessed with near perfect weather for the trip, near – at 39 degrees it was hot.
The toilets worked.
The van was not full
No one sung karaoke.

The OK
I got to kayak – but only for 40 mins, but I did enjoy it.
I got a swim
The boat was comfortable.
I had a person to talk to – sort of.
The food was generally good, but lacked quantity.

The bad
It was too expensive, I paid $20 more than my room mate, i was ripped off.
Most people smoked, inside outside wherever, boat crew and all.
The crew didnt speak English, at all – even ordering a coffee was difficult, I have never experienced it that bad.
1 other person spoke some English, but he spent most of his day reading.
I was the only person who wanted to do stuff, ie i went swimming. I was told I was not allowed to jump off the boat as it was too shallow – but all the other boats had no issues.
I wasn’t allowed to kayak through the cave – too dangerous- other boats were doing it.
Coffee was shit – luckily we were only allowed 1.
No ones fault – but it was a public holiday and the place was packed !!
My kayak was stuffed, i ripped two fingernails and think i have a bit of fibre glass up one of them due to a tear in the glass that I kept catching myself on when paddling.
The battery in my little camera died on day 1, I think I need a new battery, took some photos on the phone, I didn’t take my proper camera, wish I had now.
The road to Ha Long Bay is a disgrace – seeing how many tour buses use it, not like me to complain about roads, been on some shockers, but given the prominence of this road I expected more.
I mean no dis-respect but the Vietnamese are truely the most awful drivers I have seen !

Ok, enough whinging….

The port





The Journey




Ha Long Bay


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The first activity was a walk to the Sung Sot caves, the biggest cave system in Nth Vietnam. The walk up was a tad crowded…





Waiting for the boat, there were shopping oppotunities.



From there is was off kayaking, and my favourite part of the trip. Alone in my stuffed two person kayak.


The boat I was on – it wasnt bad.

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After a kayak, I had a wee swim and then it was dinner and sunset.

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Next day we paid extra to go through Monkey cave – I am assuming this was why I couldnt kayak through. Sadly one of our party thought testing the echo by yelling, constantly, to the great amusement of his friends, would be fun. No monkeys were seen .

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We had a further spending opportunity.

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Then it was back to shore, back on the bus and back to the hotel.

I loved this bridge, looks like they just kinda stopped building !

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Wannabe writer and photographer. Interested in travel and place. From Auckland, New Zealand.

3 thoughts on “Ha Long Bay”

  1. Wow you were so lucky with the weather – the time we went last year, our tour guide said he’d only seen it sunny on maybe 6 occasions, and he had been a tour guide through Vietnam for a year. Great pics, ours from this year are so gloomy it didn’t actually matter whether I shot in black and white or colour, they looked the same! Innerwesttosoutheast – we booked a tour through Green Street Hotel on Ma May and it was excellent ($68 for 3 days/2 nights inc Cat Ba Island, kayaking, tour of caves etc). Maybe try them.

    1. Wow $68 that is awesome, I paid close to $100 for 1 night !

      I really lucked in on the weather though, most people I know have had really murky visits.

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