Day 2 of Cruise
Halong Bay Travel Blog› entry 46 of 54 › view all entries
We were awoken (assuming we were sleeping) at 5:45 in the morning to go kayaking. We were supposed to go the night before but since we wasted so much time looking for that long lost person the day before, we ran out of time. The guide told us that there were only 4 tandem kayaks and 16 people so that we each would have 40 minutes of kayaking. This was very upseting since we were repeatedly reassured that we would have 2 hours of kayaking when booking the trip. Oh well, nothing you can do about it. Another interesting thing is there was only 1 paddle for the 2 people in the kayak, which is just silly. Any way, we kayaked around the bay and circled a couple islands, which was really neat. We went by a big cave but didn't get out of the kayak to look at it.
Once all the kayaks were back, we had breakfast. It was a big pile of bread with butter and jam with tea. It was ok at least there was a lot of bread. We had to check-out of our rooms on the boat at 8:30 who knows why. Then, we cruised back to Cat Ba island to pick up the other people on the trip. It turns out all they did was sit around the whole time while we did the fun stuff at night. We were told that we would have about 35 minutes to go swimming again with all the people from the island. But we just kept cruising directly back to port while passing other boats had people swimming.
Once we got back to the port, we got off the boat right away and then had to sit around on the land for like an hour while the guides just said they were waiting for the bus to come and had no idea when it would. Finally a bus came and everybody tried to put their luggage in and get in. After we had our bags shoved tightly in the back, it became obvious that about 6 people could not make it in the van. The lunatic driver was shoving people out and shutting the door on people. In the madness, I stayed on the van since we already had our bags packed, and Arum didn't make it. We were both very upset.
The van took me to some restaurant where all the tour groups go for their packaged lunch. Basically we had the same meal as on the boat for the 3rd time in a row. Once we were all done eating, the other group with Arum finally showed up. They were waiting at the port the whole time we were eating. Eventually I got our bags off the packed van and tried to go with Arum in her van. It turns out that another tour group with the same company had just been dropped off at the restaurant and were told that their trip was cancelled and just abandoned there. An argument occured between the upset tourists and the tour guides and finally we all got to go on the packed van back to Hanoi.
It took about 3 hours to get back to Hanoi. A typhoon was raining on us for most of the way. No wonder the boat trip was cancelled for the other group. We had to make the mandatory stop at a tourist handicraft place, which nobody wanted to go to anyway. I think the tour group gets money for making us go there for half an hour or something.
Eventually we got back to Hanoi around 5 and took showers at the hotel room we got free for booking the tour. We managed to figure out how to take 2 local buses to get to the airport, which took about an hour. We didn't have any time to find any food since we had to get to our flight. The food prices at the airport were outrageously ridiculous so we didn't get anything. We got a drink on the flight though for just a high price, not ridiculous.
Once we got to Bangkok, we took a city bus to the backpacker area and found a crappy cheap hotel to stay at around 1:30am.