Halong Bay Travel Blog› entry 20 of 35 › view all entries
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.
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 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.
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.