Halong Bay Cruise

We are now back in Hanoi after an incredible cruise through Halong Bay. Halong bay is east of Hanoi so we set out on Tuesday morning and arrived at our Junk boat at around noon. There we were taken onto the Junk and fed the first of a series of ridiculously huge meals. After gorging ourselves we were given some time to digest and enjoy the boat, the boat was an amazing Junk made out of beautiful wood. The walls the floors, everything was made from dark woods and gave a feel that you were on a rich old pirate boat. Our room was on the bottom level which was still completely above the water level and had huge windows that looked out on the landscape of islands. The huge windows allowed us to watch the beautiful islands go by as we woke up in bed. There are some 1960 islands that give Halong bay the unique landscape. The islands are made of limestone and are eroding at the base which makes many of them look like they have a smaller base that then widens as they go up.
After enjoying the boat and digesting we went ashore for a short kayak trip and some beach time. We kayaked around the islands and finished up at a beach. The weather wasn’t ideal the first day but the water was like bath water so convincing us to get in was not very difficult. That evening we had dinner in an awesome cave which we will post about separately along with all the food they served us as we have way too many pictures as usual.
The following day we awoke to rain and an overcast sky, the dreary start to the day quickly changed into a sunny afternoon, allowing us to enjoy the top deck of the boat as they had lounge chairs to relax on. We then got a chance to visit a fishing village, it felt a little staged and a little forced. One of those parts of being a tourist where you don’t know if your presence is helping or hindering a community. It then raises the question of what is your roll as a tourist. I’m not going to dwell on this too much as it is a whole different post.
That evening we had another chance to kayak, followed by a chance to jump off the top of the junk, which I could not pass up, Caitlin however had no problem passing that one up. It was about a 6 meter drop, just long enough for you to realize that you are falling before you hit the water. Don’t worry mom I have video I’ll post later so you can see what I’m talking about.
This morning we awoke to an amazing view from our cabin windows and sun all day. We lounged around on the top of the boat, reading, taking pictures and enjoying the weather. All the while realizing that we would be back on mainland shortly. The trip seemed to take forever to get here and seemed to fly by. We’ll have a few more posts about the food but for now here are a ton of pictures.
The view from our room on the first day. I’m a little excited.

The overcast day gave a mystic feel to the islands and bay.

We tried to capture the feeling of the bay, it seemed to be near impossible.

Sunset.

Looking out from the back of the boat.

A fisherman cruising by.

Breakfast inside the dining room.

The sun deck. It got better once there was sun.

Mel, Chris and Kaylex on the way to the fishing village. The boat is a woven basket that is then sealed with tar to create the base of the boat. Who knew you could use a basket as a boat?

The fishing village. Roughly 100 people live here.

Our boat.

Once the weather got nice we were able to eat lunch and dinner on the deck.

Lounging on the top reading a book and enjoying the sun.

Cruising through the bay.

Not a bad place to kayak.

Kayaking close to sunset.

More views. Like I said we tried to catch the impressiveness but it was hard to. Me kayaking back to the boat, to give you a size reference.

More islands.

Another Junk with its sail unfurled. They use them for decoration now rather than functionality. In fact we were told they couldn’t put them up if it is too windy.

Caitlin and I enjoying the last meal on the deck.

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