Trip to Halong Bay

Titop Island Travel Blog

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Our junk in Halong Bay, The Pheonix Cruiser

We set off early for a four hour minibus ride to Halong Bay. Bad news for us was that it was overcast and quite misty so our hopes for it being clear in Halong Bay were muted. The journey down was broken by the compulsory stop at a souvenir shop/cafe charging crazy prices for everything. Again who buys stuff at a place like that? You'd have to so daft!! Once at the bay we got onto a small boat which ferried us out to our unbelievable 'Junk'. It was so beautiful, all dark wood and beautifully decorated. After joking aout being put into a twin on the way down that's exactly what happened but we gently pointed out to the tour guide that we are a married couple and not brother and sister and he switched us, the room we were eventually assigned was huge with a double and a single bed as well as aircon a large shower room, fridge etc etc.

Halong Bay
The lunch we were served was fantastic for non veggies with 11 courses, problem was us non meat eaters only got six. That said we were stuffed but felt a little bit cheated. Adam had another chat with the excellant tour guide who promised we'd be able to gorge ourselves at dinner.

The bad news was that the overcast weather obscured the views of the amzing limestone rock formations in the bay. Halong Bay is yet another world heritage site of 1,969 limestone Karsts, 1,000 of which are in the waters of the bay. There are only two other places with geography like it, Phi Phi in Thailand and Guilin in China. Halong Bay is the biggest of the three.

Our first stop was 'surprising' cave. The thing thats supposed to be suprising is the three chambers which increase in size as you move through the cave system.

"Surprising Cave" in Halong Bay
To be honest it's the gaudy lighting schem which is more suprising. The caves are pretty awesome and were well worth the visit. Next up was Kayaking around the bay which Steph was initially going to duck out of as she's not that comfortable with deep sea waters but at the last minute she plucked up the courage and donned the bright orange life vest and came along. We were in double kayaks which made it even better and paddling around at sea level you really got to appreciate the beaty of the rocks. We paddled around for about an hour which was pretty tiring but a truly unforgettable experience.

Back on the Junk we lazed around on the sun loungers getting to know the others on the trip before having dinner. True to our guide Thom's word the veggie option were awesome, better than the carnivores' had.

Halong Bay
We were totally stuffed. We continued drinking and had a really good chat with a Belgian girl called Veronique until the Karaoke started up. Horses for course I suppose but we're not great fans of badly sung pop songs so we escaped to the top deck and had more beers as the boat moored for the night at Titop Island. We slept like babies.

Next day we motored around the bay with much better visibility before docking and having lunch in a hotel and then driving back to Hanoi. A great trip and it was definately worth spending the little bit extra for a decent boat.

Virginiagoodings says:
Bravo re the kayaking Stephanie! Too bad about the mist but Halong Bay looks pretty amazing anyway...interesting to hear about Karaoke...was beginning to wonder if you had managed to avoid it altogether!

Lots of love
Mum/Virginia xxoo
Posted on: Dec 21, 2007
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Our junk in Halong Bay, The Pheoni…
Our junk in Halong Bay, The Pheon…
Halong Bay
Halong Bay
Surprising Cave in Halong Bay
"Surprising Cave" in Halong Bay
Halong Bay
Halong Bay
Adam on the upper deck of our junk…
Adam on the upper deck of our jun…
Steph on the upper deck of our jun…
Steph on the upper deck of our ju…
Titop Island
photo by: stephandadam