Ha Long Bay

The day after my last day at work, I caught a plane to Hanoi, Vietnam. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do there, but I had the first two days planned. I booked a tour through Vega Travel after seeing it recommended on another person’s blog. It was actually really great. The weather was hot, but the water was cool. Meals were included, but drinks weren’t, which was kind of a bummer. They picked me up from my hotel in Hanoi and we started the ~3 hour drive to Ha Long Bay.

There were about ten other people on the tour. There was a Vietnamese family who was living in Germany, who came back to visit family, then there was a group of 3 Irish sisters and one of the sister’s fiance. We ended up getting along really well and I didn’t feel awkward at all being the only one. It was a great tour.

IMG_2779
Approaching Ha Long

IMG_2785
These are the “junk boats”. I’ve heard that for some of them, the name matches the condition of the boats, but I was very impressed with our boat.

IMG_2812
Here’s the famous cliffs! They plunge straight down into the water. It’s amazing.

IMG_2817

IMG_2818
Fishing in the caves.

IMG_2822

IMG_2827

IMG_2832

IMG_2844

IMG_2872

IMG_2876

IMG_2884

IMG_2889
We came up to a cave. The cave’s name was “surprising cave”, which was almost as comical as the dolphin-shaped trash cans that lined the pathway inside. The cave was bigger than I thought and they had it all lit up for tourists.
IMG_2902

IMG_2935

IMG_2937

IMG_2949

IMG_2960

IMG_2962

IMG_2964

IMG_2966
I’ve never been so sweaty in my entire life as I was when I got out of the surprising cave.
Thought you should know.

IMG_2990

A big benefit of the two-day trip is you get to spend a night on the junk boat. They anchor it in the bay (which is huge) and you can hang out for the night, eat dinner, and listen to music. It was amazing.

IMG_2994

IMG_3009
They also let you jump off the top of the boat into the water. There’s me diving, and my Irish friends not being so keen on jumping on the number “3”.

IMG_3013

IMG_3027

We watched the junk boats light up as the sun went down.

IMG_3031

IMG_3032
And we ate dinner on the boat.

I should preface the next few pictures by saying that the Irish had a thing for drinking. And drink they did. I might have joined them. We were supposed to wake up at 5 in the morning to see the sunrise, but I never made it to bed, let alone watched the sunrise. There was a German girl on our boat who was traveling with the Vietnamese family. Her name is Joyce. Joyce was really sweet because she woke up at 5am while I was sleeping, took my camera, and took a bunch of pictures.

Thanks Joyce.

IMG_3048

IMG_3060
Me in my moment of glory.

IMG_3084
Joyce is actually quite the photographer.

IMG_3088
Then I finally decided that I could (groan) get up.

IMG_3098

IMG_3104
They took us to an island with a beach and a viewpoint. The views from the top were amazing.

IMG_3106

IMG_3109

IMG_3111

IMG_3113

IMG_3118

We spent some time on the beach and got some sun before getting back on the boat and heading back into the dock. I highly recommend Vega for the tour. I heard some horror stories from other people who just showed up at Ha Long to catch a boat. They paid the same as I did, had to transport themselves there, and the crew took everyone’s passport until they got off the boat. It sounded super sketchy. I highly recommend the tour, and Ha Long Bay:)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s