Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Halong Bay - Vietnam

One of the "must see's" in Vietnam is Halong Bay. This bay consists of over 3,000 limestone islands covered in vegetation. Some of these islands house small fishing villages, while others have caves to explore. and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You can take a day trip boat through part of the bay or choose to stay overnight on one of the "Junks".  You have the option to stay multiple nights, seeing more of the bay, however we opted to stay one night considering we were short on time and between us and the Klepfer family we had 5 children to entertain.

Unfortunately there was alot of fog coming off the water while we were there, but the views and trip was still breathtaking. I can only imagine what it looks like during a clear time.

It took us 3.5 hours to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi via a shuttle bus. While the drive was long, it was interesting to drive through some of the "countryside" of Vietnam. Part way through we stopped at a rest area to grab snacks, drinks and for a bathroom break.

One we arrived at the port we had to board a hopper boat to our "Junk". The kids were excited to be going on a "cruise" for 2 days.
We arrived at our "Junk" (I have no idea why they call the boats this) and got checked into our cabins. The Junk was awesome and the rooms were quite spacious.

There was a total of 10 cabins on the Junk. The other "Junkmates" consisted of a couple that barely spoke to anyone, an Asian couple, two guys vacationing solo and two couples who were backpacking across Asia. They turned out to be a very fun group of people.

The afternoon was spent eating lunch, exploring the caves, kayaking, and cruising around the bay looking at all the islands and little villages.

The meals served on the Junk were awesome. The kid enjoyed sitting at their own table eating all the decorative food.
After dinner we cruised around the bay some more and then had a fun night of karaoke. Even Matt joined in the fun!
The next day we cruised around the bay taking in all the sites before returning back to the port and heading back to Hanoi.

You can see many more pictures here.  It was an awesome two days and I highly recommend anyone going to Vietnam to make sure they visit Halong Bay. You won't regret it.

Next up?  China Beach!

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