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

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The Journey

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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…

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Waiting for the boat, there were shopping oppotunities.

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

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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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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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