Halong Bay

Halong Bay Travel Blog

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Stop on way - they actually do do the embroidery here

Today I headed off for an overnight trip to Halong Bay. I booked the trip through the hotel for $65US - with the same company as the Tam Coc trip APT Travel - the guy at the hotel said that there would be no more than 16 people on the boat, airconditioning, good food, and that he could sell me a cheaper trip but then I`d be disappointed.

We left at 8.30am and it took about 4 hours to get to the port. After a short wait we we on our boat and off. There were only 13 people on the trip - 6 of us were Australian - couples from Wangarratta and Townsville and a prison officer from Gosford [Ben]. I shared my cabin with a lawyer from the US [Michael] who has been travelling the world with no plane trips - he will be arriving in Brisbane in December and then touring Australia and New Zealand before returning back to the states.

There was also a guy from London [Tom] who worked for the Save the Children Fund - he had been in Central Vietnam following Typhoon Ketsana and arranged to take leave to do the Halong trip before flying out. He was returning to London and then going on to Niger. Apparently most of his time has been spent in Africa so he had really enjoyed Vietnam.

We stopped at Sun Sot cave [aka Amazing Grotto or Grotto of Surprise]. This was very large and spectacular. Our guide Lucky was pointing out the various objects you imagine in the cave - we all reckoned the easiest to recognize were the penguins - these were actually rubbish bins.

After this we travelled to a platform where we got in kayaks and paddled for probable 5k or more through a small cave into a bay and then back again. Ben and I shared a kayak - he is as big - if not bigger than me - so they all reckoned we had about 260kg in our kayak.

We were sure we`d capsize at some stage but surprisingly didn`t. The long paddle was a killer though and I`m still feeling it in the neck and shoulders two days later.

We anchored for the night and had dinner - it was very good as had been lunch and all meals on the trip. Didn`t get much sleep though - the beds were a bit uncomfortable - many of the others were likewise. Next morning we had breakfast, met a smaller boat which collected and dropped off people doing the three day trip which includes Cat Ba Island and then headed back to port. We had a bit of a wait for our bus before heading to a hotel on a nearby island for lunch.

On the way back a motorbike accident happened right in front of us - there were 3 people off the bikes and one still laying face down on the bitumen as we went past.

A bit further on we saw a head on between a truck and a bus, and just past that there was another bike lying on the side of the road looking a bit mangles with shoes and stuff still lying beside it - not sure what the go was there. Must say that the way they drive and ride bikes it is not surprising that they have accidents.

We got back to the hotel just after 5pm - another couple from the hotel had arranged bus tickets to Hoi An by phone after we`d left and got back to be told that the bus would be leaving at 5.30pm. I was able to confirm that my bus ticket to China - which had also been done over the phone with them - was organised. I was pleased that I was having a day`s break before going as I was totally stuffed at this point.

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Stop on way - they actually do do …
Stop on way - they actually do do…
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto)
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto)
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto)
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto)
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto)
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto)
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto) - It…
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto) - I…
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto)
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto)
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto)
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto)
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto)
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto)
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto)
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto)
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto)
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto)
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto)
Sửng Sôt (Surprise Grotto)
Sunset
Sunset
Sunset
Sunset
Halong Bay