Ha Long bay. For some people the whole reason for going to Vietnam. UNESCO world heritage sight. Some people go to Halong Bay for the day. A 4 hour bus ride,as much fun as root canal work with no local anaesthetic. 4 hours around the bay, and then repeat the dental work. The area is huge, beautiful, quiet and needs exploring. 4 hours just is, well, crazy. We opted for a 3 day, 2 night aboard the Halong Phoenix Cruiser. In between sort of weather. A few days ago the area was covered in mist, and it would have been difficult to see much at all. We had mostly dry but rather grey, none of the bright sunshine in the adverts. Still, the scenery is spectacular with the vast limestone rocks rearing up out of the sea. Ha Long means ‘Dragon teeth’, or, rather, it may mean that. Our guide thought that loads of things meant all sorts of stuff. Sounds good, though. There are vast stalactite and stalagmite caves to visit, along with all the other tourists. Would be easy to spend longer and take some time to look around the largest island, Cat Ba.
It’s all very orderly in the Bay with all the cruisers and ferries stopping in the same places. Off-piste is strictly forbidden. However, with a kayak, we were able to explore the hidden coves and lagoons, away from the boats. We did manage one lunch with not another boat in sight, well away from the crowds. Exceptionally quiet and peaceful. We were amazed to see some wild monkeys. Maybe macaque monkeys. Our guide wasn’t sure. On Cat Ba they do have langurs, but are very rare and endangered. We were keen to support their conservation project.
Treated to some very good food with lots of fresh squid. Paul tried to catch some. Failed, but had a bit of fun with synchronised fishing with three Germans.
Would love to revisit the area again for even longer. Ideally when the sun is out and 10 degrees warmer.