Our Ha Long Bay trip

Ha Long Bay Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 10 › view all entries
Breakfast at Classic Street Hotel.
Maybe it is strange to my fellows from Western that we, Indonesian like to fulfill our stomach into its maximum capacity when we have our breakfast. That's why, it is normal for us to have a full plate of fried rice (nasi goreng) complete with the stuffs: a fried egg, some chopped meatballs, sausages, chips, and last but not least: chilli sauce. Another option: a bowl of noodles (sometimes but quite often: instant noodles).

A slightly different form; we have Pho as our breakfast today in Vietnam. The person who be the last to finish the breakfast is certainly and unsurprisingly Rara, so we have to be patient until she eat all of her meal before we go upstairs, back to the room to pick-up all of our belongings.

We check-out as quick as lightning.
Another Pho for breakfast. I think I can have Pho for 3 times meal and not get bored with that at all :)
The major reason is not only because our mini van is already there, in front of the hotel but also because there are other guests in the mini van as the members of our group to go to Ha Long Bay. Giving a bad first impression for them is the last thing I want to happen right now. Furthermore, the location of the hotel is in front of a small street where parking on one side can make a "bottle neck" for other cars to pass by. So, after hurrying settling the payment and dragging all the luggages through many narrow stairs, we throw the heavy luggages into a pile at the front row seats of the van. There are three other people, one woman is from the Netherlands, the other two is from Germany.

It takes 3.5 hours to get to Ha Long Bay. Along the way, we stop for 15 minutes at a ceramic factory.
Traditional medicine: way better than Viagra (maybe...) :p
This is kinda dejavu for me since in China we were also herded by the tour guide to many kind of factories;  from jade, ceramic, pearl until a tea house.

When we reach Ha Long Bay, the harbour is totally crowded by tourists. Talking about demography, tourists we saw in China is different with what we see in Vietnam eventhough both countries are neighbours. In China, mostly are local tourists, they are thousands in number. They were usually a family. Sometimes they come with the extended family; parents, siblings, uncle, aunt, nephews and so on. In Vietnam, we meet a lot of westerners, young, singles. We also see old couples. Usually, the old couples comes in a guided tour group. Normally, they come from French as Vietnam was colonialized by French in the past.
The toilet at the ceramic factory. See the mini door which can not hide you 100% behind it. :)
On the other hand, children, especially at my children ages (8 yr and 2 yr), are hardly to see. Maybe because at the time we travelled to Vietnam was not school holidays.

In Ha Long Bay, many tourists are youngsters (around 20 yrs old), they are backpackers and it's nice to see that people love to travel, even at that early age.

We wait not to longat the harbour before we are taken by a small boat to get to our junk. The name of the junk is Thanh Hung. We gather at the restaurant of the junk for a short briefing. Then, the tour guide allocate rooms for each of us. We go downstairs to see what our room looks like then go to the sundeck to sit-down there and watching the junkboats that covers the whole area. They are quite the same; in color (all brown), in shape (basically a boat with sail sticks on it), and in the layout (first deck is the rooms, second is the restaurant, and the top is the sundeck).
Raka and me on Ha Long Bay cruise.


We eat the lunch while the boat start to cruise. The lunch is superb, very delicious. Deep in my heart, I thank God for having the chef, he seemed know exactly how to please our stomach. This is the first time in my life having a lunch on a boat while the boat is cruising. More than that, the view is spectacular. I love that moment so much.

By the time we finish our lunch, we arrive at the small port where Sung Sot Cave (Surprising Cave) is located. This is the biggest cave in Ha Long Bay. In order to reach the cave up there, we have to climb hundreds of stairs. I don't know why it has its name, I am not surprised with what is inside the cave. Maybe because I have already known this site from the internet during my survey on Ha Long Bay or maybe because I have seen similar caves in Java.
View from the first stop on the way to Sung Sot (Surprising) cave.
In Vietnam, they put some colorful light to enhance many stalactite or stalagmite that make a specific shape. I hope the Indonesian tourism department do the same with our caves all over the country. It makes the cave becomes more beautiful, perhaps it will be unique if one of the caves here is used as a bar or a hotel or something. ;) Just a silly thought.

After we got back to our boat, we feel so tired. It must be because of going up and down to the cave and inside the cave. Plus, carrying my 2 yrs old Raka sometimes. So, we just spend the whole evening, taking rest in each of our room after the dinner. My sister go for kayaking with the Dutch lady. Just a snap after I lay down on the bed, I heard some girls are shouting from the outside. I look through the window.
The guide told us not to buy from dinghy sellers like this but what the heck!
There are several dinghies, each is rowed by a girl, they are offering many kind of snacks. I bought 2 Pringles and bananas. I feel pitty on them, in this cold weather, they are trying to get some money. Eventhough the price is expensive, I think that would be nice to buy some. Just to make them happy a little bit.

Then the night comes.
The shadows of the limestones sorround our boat.
The water is so calm.
No waves at all.
Ha Long Bay is very tranquil and standstill.
We fell asleep very quick and we sleep like a log that night.


Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Breakfast at Classic Street Hotel.
Breakfast at Classic Street Hotel.
Another Pho for breakfast. I think…
Another Pho for breakfast. I thin…
Traditional medicine: way better t…
Traditional medicine: way better …
The toilet at the ceramic factory.…
The toilet at the ceramic factory…
Raka and me on Ha Long Bay cruise.
Raka and me on Ha Long Bay cruise.
View from the first stop on the wa…
View from the first stop on the w…
The guide told us not to buy from …
The guide told us not to buy from…
In the ceramic factory.
In the ceramic factory.
A big hall in the ceramic factory.
A big hall in the ceramic factory.
So many items.
So many items.
Raka, just recently wake-up.
Raka, just recently wake-up.
Small statues and vases.
Small statues and vases.
Outside of the ceramic factory.
Outside of the ceramic factory.
A red knight with a white horse.
A red knight with a white horse.
Waiting to gather again for contin…
Waiting to gather again for conti…
Snakes and scorpions to make a man…
Snakes and scorpions to make a ma…
I am not sure how to consume this.…
I am not sure how to consume this…
Dogs inside the ceramic factory.
Dogs inside the ceramic factory.
On the small boat that take us to …
On the small boat that take us to…
Lots of junk boats on the backgrou…
Lots of junk boats on the backgro…
My mother, my sister, the Dutch la…
My mother, my sister, the Dutch l…
Me.
Me.
On the way to our boat.
On the way to our boat.
Junk Boats in Ha Long Bay.
Junk Boats in Ha Long Bay.
From a closer look.
From a closer look.
Typical one: rooms on 1st floor, r…
Typical one: rooms on 1st floor, …
Our tour guide.
Our tour guide.
The room 1.
The room 1.
The room 2.
The room 2.
The mini bathroom.
The mini bathroom.
On the sundeck.
On the sundeck.
Raka loves the chair.
Raka loves the chair.
Before cruising 1.
Before cruising 1.
Before cruising 2.
Before cruising 2.
Green water.
Green water.
Other boat. Looked worn-out.
Other boat. Looked worn-out.
With the countrys flag on the bac…
With the country's flag on the ba…
Relaxing on the sundeck.
Relaxing on the sundeck.
Waiting for lunch. Hungry!
Waiting for lunch. Hungry!
Self-taken.
Self-taken.
Our lunch. Finish very fast!
Our lunch. Finish very fast!
Its cold outside!
It's cold outside!
Unfortunately: the fog came.
Unfortunately: the fog came.
Karst.
Karst.
The stairs to the restaurant.
The stairs to the restaurant.
Raka and Papa.
Raka and Papa.
Raka and mama again.
Raka and mama again.
Beautiful views.
Beautiful views.
Raka and papa again
Raka and papa again
Rara and her grandpa.
Rara and her grandpa.
Limestones. Erosion on the leg.
Limestones. Erosion on the leg.
On the stairs.
On the stairs.
A floating house.
A floating house.
This is the only green boat among …
This is the only green boat among…
Errrr...where is this?
Errrr...where is this?
The bridge to go to Sung Sot Cave.
The bridge to go to Sung Sot Cave.
Open hours schedule.
Open hours schedule.
Our boat.
Our boat.
Sung sot Cave (Surprising cave)
Sung sot Cave (Surprising cave)
Climbing and climbing.
Climbing and climbing.
We have to stop many times to let …
We have to stop many times to let…
Second stop
Second stop
Third Stop.
Third Stop.
The price of a 500 ml mineral wate…
The price of a 500 ml mineral wat…
The junk boats. View from Sung Sot…
The junk boats. View from Sung So…
Trying hard to reach the top.
Trying hard to reach the top.
Final stop.
Final stop.
Inside the cave.
Inside the cave.
The tour guide explains.
The tour guide explains.
Man made pond.
Man made pond.
Tired.
Tired.
Going down, back to the boat.
Going down, back to the boat.
Raka is not interested with the ca…
Raka is not interested with the c…
View from the ground.
View from the ground.
Sung sot cave from the port.
Sung sot cave from the port.
The girl is selling snacks and dri…
The girl is selling snacks and dr…
Some of the items have a worn-out …
Some of the items have a worn-out…
Getting dark.
Getting dark.
Ha Long Bay
photo by: Paulovic