After the first two tense, chaotic and extremely loud days in Hanoi, we were glad that it finally went to the well-deserved holiday.
First we went to Halong Bay. An approximately 1500km² large bay in the Gulf of Tonkin in the north of Vietnam. A bay around which many myths entwine. Officially, limestone rocks rise out of the water there in 1969, which are mostly uninhabited and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994.
In addition to the beautiful mystical limestone cliffs that sometimes protrude several hundred meters out of the water, the Halong Bay still offers several caves and caves, and some beaches that can be partially entered at low tide.
In Vietnamese, Halong Bay is called "Vinh Ha Long" and means "Bay of the Diving Dragon". According to the (most famous) legend, the bay was created by a dragon who lived near the sea in the mountains. When he ran to the shore, he drew deep ruts with his tail in the land, which was flooded by the sea, after the dragon had dived into the water.
Because of its very beautiful and mystical scenery of the bay, it has even made it to Hollywood. The showdown of the movie James Bond 007 - The Man with the Golden Colt (1974), for example, was filmed in Halong Bay. Also Kong: Skull Island (2017) was partially filmed in Halong Bay.
Welcome on board!
We opted for a "2 Days / 1 Night" trip with the Indochina Sails. We booked the Deluxe room, because we wanted to have a balcony. The Deluxe room is about 15m ², has air conditioning and a private shower with rain forest shower and hairdryer, minibar, safe, life jackets, etc.
Before boarding, we were taken by our driver and guide to the harbor, where we waited for a while in the harbor lounge of the Indochina Sails. At there, we were given refreshment towels and welcome drinks, which tasted very refreshing to ginger and lemongrass.
After all registered guests arrived, it was around 12.15 clock with luggage on a speedboat to get to the junk, where we received the next welcome drink. Afterwards there was a small safety briefing in addition to the presentation of the program for the next few hours. After that we finally got our room. Juhu!
Here we could rest a bit before going to lunch around 13:15. (Lunch is included at the time of booking, only drinks are exclusive and you pay at check-out.)
After lunch, we drove through Halong Bay for several hours past various islets such as Incense Burner, Dog Stone Islet, Fighting Cock and Finger Islet. To enjoy the beauty of the bay, you could also go to the sundeck and watch and admire everything from there.
At 4 pm we went to Surprise Cave, also called Sung Sot Cave. One of the largest and most spectacular cave in the bay.
Then it was time for the sunset back to the junk. A little later, a cooking class took place, but we did not attend as we preferred to enjoy the beautiful view.
At 7.30 pm there was dinner in the form of a buffet. Also for the evening entertainment is taken care of, as there were various entertainment programs. However, we were so broken from the eventful day, so that after dinner we fell half dead in bed. ^^