Celebrating 6 years together in Halong Bay!
Halong Bay Travel Blog› entry 18 of 44 › view all entries
Today Ben and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary and had booked a 3 day 2 night trip to the famous Halong Bay. The journey from Hanoi to Halong took about 4 hours, and when we arrived we boarded a boat at Halong pier and then travelled through stunning scenery to our first stop which was a huge cave. Halong bay is truly beautiful and really peaceful with huge limestone peaks jutting out of the ocean covered in a slim coating of vegetation, huge kites flying over head searching for their next fishy victim. From the cave we then travelled to a floating fishing village which was really interesting with small wooden huts built onto blue plastic barrels which allows the houses to float. The village was home to about 50 different families who received income from hiring kayaks to the tourists, fishing and taking tourists on trips to various caves around the bay.
The final stop for the evening was Cat Ba island which is where we spent the first night of the trip. The island was beautiful, with quite a substantial national park which is home to the critically endangered Golden handed Langur monkey. The island was dotted with small villages. Sadly alot of development seems to be taking place on the island with alot of resorts and hotels being built which I think will eventually spoil the charm and beauty of the island, however this seems to be a running theme with the world at present so it didnt really come as too much of a suprise.
After ariving at the hotel we got chatting to another couple from the UK and decided to go out for a drink at one of the sea front bars, Ben and I havent really drunk any alcohol at all since we have been travelling so we got a bit tipsy and eventually staggered our way back to the hotel, it had been a great day and a lovely evening, the perfect way to spend our anniversary.
The next day we were up and out of the hotel by 8 a.m. Our first stop was the National Park on Cat Ba where we were left to our own devices for nearly 3 hours. We set off on a trek to a view point on top of a mountain. The trek took about an hour and we trekked through lush landscape up rocky and muddy paths to reach the final destination which was a look out tower to get to which you had to walk up rickety rusted ladders but it was well worth it for the view which looked out to a vast amount of forest, absolutely breath taking and well worth the steep, slippery journey. On the way back down we saw some skinks, lizards, a frog and some kind of viper so all in all it was a pretty successful trek. Sadly we didnt get to see the langurs but they are living in an inaccessible part of the forest which to be honest is most probably the best place for them to be, away from the hands of people who are the main reason for their decline.
After the trek we had a couple of hours of free time so we decided to go and chill on the beach and read a book which was a lovely relaxing way to spend the afternoon. We were then taken back to the pier to board the boat where we would be spending the night. The boat drove for a couple of hours to the resting point, on the way we got to see the spectacular sunset over Halong Bay, it really was so peaceful and was the perfect opportunity to reflect on the amazing experiences that we have had so far over the past 4 months along with the realization of how lucky we are to have the opportunity to see some of the world and take a break from reality for a while.
We spent the evening playing card games and getting to know the other tourists on the boat, it was a great laugh but we had to be up at 6 the following morning so we called it a night at about 10.30 and hit the sack. The next morning we started the day with a Kayak ride around some of the rocks that make up Halong Bay, the air was so fresh and it really was the perfect start to the day. AFter kayaking we headed back to the main land but still had a few hours of beautiful scenery to marvel at... which we did! On our return to Halong city we had a quick lunch and then were on our way back to Hanoi. Halong bay is truly a beautiful place and I would definately recommend it to anybody who visits Vietnam.