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26th March - Ha long Bay

 

Took a tour to Halong Bay. We were the first to be picked up in the bus at 8.00am. Made quite a few stops on the way, and arrived at Halong Bay at 12.30. 
The place was full of buses. Apparently they get 2000 people visit each day. We were on the one day tour, but others on our bus were on the 2 day and 3 day tours. They get to sleep on the boat overnight, anf the 3 day people also get to sleep on the island. If only we had more time!!! The bus was an international mix of people. Halong Bay is in the Gulf of Tonkin, but apparently that only meant something to me. 

The mist over the water and around the bay made the trip on the boat almost mystical. It is a very beautiful place. We visited a floating fish market where all manner of fish are corralled in floating pens. Some I did not recognise. I would have taken photos, but the batteries ran out in my camera. There were big and medium fish, squid, cockles, mussells, shrimp, crabs, a thing that looked like a skate but had barbs all along it's fins. I was told by a local they are very dangerous, and I believe him. It was about the size of an A4 page and very interesting. Oh how I wish my camera was working. To see the fish you had to walk along these narow boards between the pens. I was too intrigued to be worried about falling in. 

We had lunch on the boat with a lovely young couple who hail from the US, but are currently working at a mission school in Korea. Hello Daniel and Brooke!!!! 

Next we visited an enormous cave. Luckily they sold batteries at the entrance, so I was back in business with the camera. There were squillions of bleep bleep stairs, and my knees really gave me curry. I was going to pay for this later!!!!! 
Next we were given the opportunity to go kyaking, but I had done well thus far embarking and disembarking, so I didn't press my luck. Christine and daniel went for a Kayak though. Christine taught Daniel the finer points. 

On the way back to the harbour most of the other passengers slept or sat up the top of the boat. Brooke and Daniel taught us this new card game called Some Are Not. it is a weird card game with fraction numbers, but really interesting. Brooke and I, 2.......Christine and Daniel zip!! 
Then a 3 hour trip back to Hanoi. We were exhausted, and decided to go to the nearest restaurant and then fall into bed. Christine gets the gallops when she hits the streets, so we went miles before finding a restaurant, and then got lost on the way back. The streets were by now very dark as the shops were closed, the streets dirty and smelly. I was in a crabby mood and just wanted a shower and bed. We eventually made it back safe but grumpy. 
We decided we were all toured out, so did not want to endure yet another to visit the hills tribes the next day.


Source: Travel Blogs

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Xin Chao Travel Halong Bay
We are happy to send you our impressions on our excellent trip to Halong Bay with your company. The organization and monitoring of our trip was impeccable, thanks to our friendly and excellent guide Minh not forgetting the super driver Dzung.

Mardy Scott (Australia)
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