Today we started our little
tour to Halong
Bay, a magnificent place with more than 3000 islands, which has been declared a Unesco World Heritage site. Our bus, supposedly with AC came to pick us up at 8am and after 3 and a half hours from hell (no AC and a very loud Malasyan family that had only booked space for 12, when they were 16 including the very noisy children, so no space for all) we arrived to Halong Bay to board our boat. THe views were absolutely stunning. The legend says that the islands of Halong Bay were created by a great dragon that lived in the mountains. As it ran towards the coast, its flailing tail gouged out valleys and creasses; as it plunged into the sea, the areas dug up by its tail became filled with water, leaving only bits of high land visible.
The food at the boat was pretty bad, with some rice (of course), some veggies, a fried fish (just one for 6 people) that was so fried that hardly had any meat in it), and some chicken with more veggies and of course tofu. This would be our lunch and dinner pretty much
for all the 3 days!!!
After visiting a couple of magnificent caves, they took us to
Cat Ba Island for the first night in a nice hotel close to the town (but not in town as the travel agent had promised). At least we had some "local entertainment"!!!
After having a few drinks with the locals next door and getting a little bit tipsy, went to bed early as I had an 8am pick up to go trekking at the National Park. As I had a little bit of hangover it was pretty hard trek but managed at the end to conquer the top, with all of us sweating like pigs. The views of the island the surroundings were stunning and worth it, but so so hard!
After lunch we visited "Monkey Island" but after wondering around for a while we could not see any monkeys. The guard told us that they only come to the beach later on the day when it's not so hot (not sure if to believe him though, I bet he took the bananas we left there for the monkeys). At least it was a nice beach and we had a little bit of
a swim. We then board our horrible, rat infested boat, to go kayaking, and after another "wonderful meal" early to bed as tired from all the trekking.
After breakfast (hey this time we got a full omelette each with some toasted bread), we slowly got back to port in Halong City for lunch (yes, rice, a fish, vegetables, tofu, etc again!!!) We need some western or just good food after these last 3 days!!! This time the bus going back to Hanoi had AC at least, thank God!.
Source: Travel Blogs