Halong Bay

Halong Bay Travel Blog

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One of the Must See sights in Vietnam. We booked a three day tour through Halong BackPackers for about $60 dollars for three days. I was really nervous about going because of my seasickness, but it turned out to be okay! We left the hostel around 8am in two mini buses, our guide was a Canadian dude (who pretends to be scottish) called AJ. He's a bit of a character to say the least, as he belives the world is going to end in 2012. He is one of the those guys (ladies, you know what I mean!) who you can't help be attracted to because he was really funny but extremely arrogant - but it made the bus ride entertaining at least. When we got to Halong Bay we cruised around the limestone formations on our boat and had some dinner (no seasickness yet!). Then came the canoeing - one of the reasons Kat and I weren't so sure about this tour, was the three hours of canoeing it involves. We each teamed up with a bloke, for obvious reasons and then proceeded to canoe for 3 hours. The first 10 minutes was okay, then the pain set in. By the time we reached the fairy cave I was absolutely knackered. AJ took us around the so called fairy cave, and checked the short tunnels we went through for snakes, rats etc (eek!). I was expecting to be a bit scared of the cave, as unlike tourist attractions in england there is no lighting, no handrails etc - and it was a bit slippy and there were so bits where I just couldn't see where I was going - but it was good fun and not that frightening - especially with AJ's original slant on explaining Vietnamese culture! The canoe ride back was painful, back on the boat I was almost sick with exhaustion. Luckily I wasn't only one who had found it a struggle. Unfortunately I began to get really seasick, I hate it when the boat is still and just dipping in the water! I railled round and managed to eat some tea, and put in an appearance until midnight (after some silly games) and went to bed. In the morning we sailed to Cat Ba Island and went on the trek up Cat Ba Hill. This is a climb you literally do on your hands and knees as it is so steep, you really have to concentrate. At the top there is a rickety old viewing tower (there was no way you were getting me up it!) but the view was lovely. I basically slid all the way back down the mountain, getting very muddy in the process! Back at the hotel on Cat Ba we had a great lunch, and then had free time to wander about Cat Ba and get to know our fellow backpackers. Unfortunately Kat experience the revenge of Lotus Sapa restaurant and we decided to just stay in in the evening. Suspiciously there was another lady on our tour group who also got sick, and we know of at least two other people who were also sick on the Halong Bay trip. If you go with Hanoi Backpackers be careful what you eat om Cat Ba. We didn't report it but I kinda wished we had now, as being sick on the boat is miserable! 

In the morning it was time to go back to the hostel by boat and bus. AJ, the charmer, read to me the whole way back as Kat wasn't really up for much conversation. It was a really good book, and he even did all the voices. I am spoilt for life now, as if anyone offers to read to me (unless it is Steven Fry) it just won't be as good.

harryk8062 says:
Lovely to hear from you yesterday and look forward to you updating your blog.

All our love

Daddy
Posted on: May 10, 2009
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One of the Must See sights in Vietnam. We booked a three day tour through Halong BackPackers for about $60 dollars for three days. I was really nervous about going because of my seasickness, but it turned out to be okay! We left the hostel around 8am in two mini buses, our guide was a Canadian dude (who pretends to be scottish) called AJ. He's a bit of a character to say the least, as he belives the world is going to end in 2012. He is one of the those guys (ladies, you know what I mean!) who you can't help be attracted to because he was really funny but extremely arrogant - but it made the bus ride entertaining at least. When we got to Halong Bay we cruised around the limestone formations on our boat and had some dinner (no seasickness yet!). Then came the canoeing - one of the reasons Kat and I weren't so sure about this tour, was the three hours of canoeing it involves. We each teamed up with a bloke, for obvious reasons and then proceeded to canoe for 3 hours. The first 10 minutes was okay, then the pain set in. By the time we reached the fairy cave I was absolutely knackered. AJ took us around the so called fairy cave, and checked the short tunnels we went through for snakes, rats etc (eek!). I was expecting to be a bit scared of the cave, as unlike tourist attractions in england there is no lighting, no handrails etc - and it was a bit slippy and there were so bits where I just couldn't see where I was going - but it was good fun and not that frightening - especially with AJ's original slant on explaining Vietnamese culture! The canoe ride back was painful, back on the boat I was almost sick with exhaustion. Luckily I wasn't only one who had found it a struggle. Unfortunately I began to get really seasick, I hate it when the boat is still and just dipping in the water! I railled round and managed to eat some tea, and put in an appearance until midnight (after some silly games) and went to bed. In the morning we sailed to Cat Ba Island and went on the trek up Cat Ba Hill. This is a climb you literally do on your hands and knees as it is so steep, you really have to concentrate. At the top there is a rickety old viewing tower (there was no way you were getting me up it!) but the view was lovely. I basically slid all the way back down the mountain, getting very muddy in the process! Back at the hotel on Cat Ba we had a great lunch, and then had free time to wander about Cat Ba and get to know our fellow backpackers. Unfortunately Kat experienced the revenge of Lotus Sapa restaurant and we decided to just stay in in the evening. Suspiciously there was another lady on our tour group who also got sick, and we know of at least two other people who were also sick on the Halong Bay trip. If you go with Hanoi Backpackers be careful what you eat on Cat Ba. We didn't report it but I kinda wished we had now, as being sick on the boat is miserable! 

In the morning it was time to go back to the hostel by boat and bus. AJ, the charmer, read to me the whole way back as Kat wasn't really up for much conversation. It was a really good book, and he even did all the voices. I am spoilt for life now, as if anyone offers to read to me (unless it is Steven Fry) it just won't be as good.

Halong Bay