A mini bus picked us up, from our hotel, for our overnight stay, at Ha Long bay. Picked up, a few other tourists, before changing to a larger bus, as gig buses are not allowed in the old quarter!
Three hour bus ride to cover 150km! Arrived at the harbour and boarded the boat had a very large banquet lunch and toured the sights.
Halong Bay is one of the most magnificent scenic spots in all of Vietnam and was designated by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage in 1994. It is a picturesque bay with some 3000 islets rising from the clear emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Washed by water and lapped by waves for hundreds of thousands of years, the limestone basin has been carved into stalagmitic caves, crescent beaches and odd-shaped formations. Halong Bay is also famous for its varied ecological system with thousands of kinds of fish, hundreds of sorts of coral and other sea creatures. Moreover, the global value of Halong Bay in terms of geological process has been highly appreciated. In late 2000, UNESCO acknowledged Halong Bay as being a kast geological foundation, a second World Heritage criterion.div>
Different to what I expected. Lots more rocky outcrops/ islands sticking up out of the water everywhere, all covered with vegetation – very impressive. In the afternoon we visited a cave, still very humid and hot.
Back to the boat and made way for where we are staying the night. Had a long swim. Brendan enjoyed it as he had a life vest and could float around ok. Hopped on a kayak and paddled to a cave which led to an enclosure – may have been from volcano as all cliffs are in a circular shape – back out through the cave to get out!
We talked to the others, for a while, before showering in the tiny bathroom and up for tea – same as lunch.
Brendan went to bed easy! All sharing, the one small bed – David may sleep up top! More sitting around and talking.
One Aussie named Andrew based in Singapore and 2 English girls Jo and Bec. Brendan likes them!
Off to bed! Back to Hanoi tomorrow about 4.30pm!