Santa Maria Cruiser on Halong Bay
Halong Bay Travel Blog› entry 11 of 16 › view all entries
We caught the bus organized by Columbus Travel from our hotel. The hotel staff was angry at us that we booked with the actual travel company instead of them because they didn't get their commission. It's starting to get a little grating that everywhere you go as a tourist people are constantly trying to make money off of you. The six of us hopped onto our bus with 2 other couples, both from Britain and proceeded to make a record for the slowest drive ever out to the port that deports for Halong Bay. Our driver was honked at by everyone and passed repeatedly yet seemed unphased by the fact that we were going 30 km/hour. He also must have had a rough night because he kept falling asleep at the wheel. On the plus side, we got to listen to The Best of Abba. We got to our beautiful junk ship whose sails reminded me of the movie Indochine. We set sail, and stopped at some caves to explore which apparently are full of animal symbolism and phallic representations that also could be interpreted as "fingers or canons." Right. Our tour guide Hang led us back to the ship where we sailed away from one of the main islands out into the open water away from other junks and donned our swimsuits to jump off the back of the boat. We ended up climbing on the top deck and jumping off the top which is about 7 meters high. We convinced Hang to jump off with us and he was screaming like a little girl and finally jumped off saying "Oh my Budda!" instead of "Oh my god" as we would do. A funny expression I've heard before. Took a little nap before a delcious dinner where a crew member actually cracked the crabs open before us and presented each of us with a crab claw. We hung out dinner drinking cheap vodka we smuggled on board and then admired Halong Bay in the dark from the top deck.
Woke up next morning at 6:45am to loud ringing with Hang insisting that we all had to get up and eat breakfast immediately before we could go kayaking. Ate my first Western breakfast (eggs and white bread) for the first time since I've been here and frankly a disappointment. Hang assigned kayaks to Regina and William and Michael and me to "distrubute weight." Not sure if he was saying the boys were too heavy or we were too fat. Ha ha. No matter. We kayaked to this beatiful "lagoon" where one hard to kayak under a cave like ceiling. Amazing. Time to head back to the boat before heading back to shore.