After spending a couple of days in Hanoi, we went to the port up north to Halong Bay, one of Vietnam’s most popular natural wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The place is as beautiful as it sounds, so get ready for more photos this time!
I was actually worried about this part of our vacation since our hotel guides said that the weather was bound to be really bad for several days, so we might not be able to go to the bay at all for safety reasons. But miraculously, it became so sunny that it was hard to believe that it rained so hard just a day ago. I guess we were just very lucky!
It was a really nice day out and we reached the port after a slightly long but comfortable bus ride. Since we booked an overnight tour, the tickets going to Halong Bay have already been reserved for us, but it was a pretty long wait nonetheless because there were so many tourists lining up.
After getting a ticket, we rode a small motor boat going to the ships. We rode a nice junk with other tourists from different countries, who were all very nice and outgoing.
We just loaded our luggage into our rooms and ate lunch, then we went straight to Surprising Cave, which is a huge, lovely cavern in the middle of the bay filled with stalactites and stalagmites. Some of them even form images, like turtles, dragons, and elephants.
In the late afternoon, we went kayaking and boating around the bay as part of our package. It was a really nice day for going around the area. We spent quite a long time exploring and we went back just a couple of hours before sunset. Some of our companions also swam in the sea and had a great time, but it was too cold for me (18°C or 64°F may be comfortable for some, but I already want to cover up with such a temperature). Since I’m not swimming and there was still lots of time before dinner, I just took some photos!
After dinner, we could not sing karaoke as planned so we went squid fishing instead, in hopes that we could cook it for a snack or for tomorrow’s breakfast. I never thought it would be that hard to catch a squid (I didn’t catch anything *sigh*). But oh well, I just talked to my new friends about their countries and how life is back home. After some more unsuccessful attempts to catch seafood, I called it a night.
The next day, we went to the Pearl Farm, where they showed us how they raise oysters and even let us pick the ones to harvest for pearls! It’s a very educational place, and what’s interesting about it is that although it looks very successful right now, the Pearl Farm struggled for lots of years before it earned its first profit. It just goes to show how dedicated they are to their industries and really persisted to make them successful.
We went back to our boat and took part in a cooking class, where we learned how to make Vietnamese spring rolls (fried ones). We all got our chance to wrap our own rolls and for us, it was the best lunch because we personally prepared the food we ate! A few hours later, we arrived back in the port and we had to go straight to the airport.
That wraps up Halong Bay, and stay tuned for the imperial capital of Hue in part 3 of my Vietnam vacation! 🙂