As part of our Halong Bay boat cruise, we had the delight of visiting Titop Island, just one of the thousands of islands that litter Halong Bay. Following multiple trips up to the delicious breakfast buffet, we grabbed our towels, put on our life jackets and took a short trip on the tender which transported us to the island. We couldn’t have chosen a better time to go. The sun was shining, the water was gleaming and the bay was tranquil as our tender elegantly sailed through the tropical waters abundant with exciting sea-life. Indochina Sails also smartly organised this trip early in the morning so that whilst the rest of Ha Long Bay was still sleeping, we got to explore this incredible scenery when the island was quiet and the sun was rising!
Once docked, we hopped onto the island and one of the crew from Indochina Sails lead us to the start of the hiking trail. As an avid hiker, I would say this was more of a stairway climb to the top of the island than a hike, but it was still very steep and adequately challenging. Saying that, there were a lot of older people who were able to do it. And believe me, it was well worth the climb.
What awaited us was breath-taking - it was a panoramic view of the whole bay. You could see all the cruise ships, now tiny specs on the landscape, and the little islands dotted around, and the great expanse of aquamarine water that stretched for as far as the eye could see. We used this opportunity to take some photos that I know will last a lifetime. After some friendly chat with fellow travellers, it was time to head back down. As we began our descent we got a new angle of the views that we had previously seen on the way up which was another treat.
Upon arriving back at the base of the mountain it was time to get the towels out, slap on the sun cream and relax on the beautiful island beach. Finding a spot was no hassle and we soon adjusted to the slow pace of island life. A cold coconut bought from a local market stool was enough to quench our thirst and soon enough it was time to go for a refreshing dip. The sand was soft, the water was warm and the sun was out to make for a memorable swimming experience in the waters of this world heritage site.
Effortlessly floating in the waters of Ha Long bay really distorts your perception of time. For a blissful moment nothing else mattered as it was just the two of us and the emerald lagoon waters. We eventually transitioned from the watery world and returned to our sandy towels. I relaxed under the morning sun as my boyfriend found some people to play beach football with – classic!
After a while our tender returned to bring us back to our cruise ship and it was time to leave. What an incredible experience our trip to Titop island was! Every detail from the small boat trip to the hike, to the views to the beach was absolutely perfect, and the weather made it that extra bit more special! It was a shame we had to leave, but we had a full day of activities ahead of us, and as they say – all good things come to an end. At least we have plenty of photos to remember it by.