In my opinion, we had perfect weather. It was very foggy and windy (exactly like San Francisco), which created a cozy and mysterious ambiance in the bay. Though it was chilly outside (no sunbathing on the upper deck) I enjoyed the view with my coat on: layer upon layer of different shades of islands, completely surrounding us. Every few minutes, the view would change and we'd see a handful of new islands.
Our tour guide told us there were a little under 2,000 islands in the bay. The Vietnamese like to say 1,969 islands because that is the year Ho Chi Minh died.
Our first stop was an unexpected visit to a cave in one of the islands. The cave had a very expansive interior, which was lit up with cheesy multi-colored disco lighting. I guess they didn't think the natural beauty was interesting enough.
|The dragon at the front of our big boat. I tried to climb on this, but the captain shook his head "no" at me.|
|Our rowboat captain.|
|The guy in the middle happens to be from San Francisco. Small world.|
|Cruising stealthily into the lagoon.|
We passed around the backside of the island...
|What do these people do for work? They're fishermen and boat drivers, of course.|
Our room was great--the only triple on the boat. The only downside was being placed above the engine, making our room smell of gas fumes. Before going to bed for the night, I said my goodbyes to Daniel and Monica, just in case we didn't wake up the next morning.
We fell asleep to the sound of bad karaoke coming from the dining room down the hall.
|Approaching the kayaks.|
|Our tour guide and a local girl catching up around the fish enclosures.|
|That's our boat on the left.|
|I wore a towel around my waist because I didn't have a change of pants.|
Halong Bay reminds me a lot of the Milford Sound in New Zealand. Both have been nominated for the next round of wonders of the world. I'm curious to find out what happens.
I disembarked with the Titanic theme song stuck in my head ... strange that they would choose that song to play over and over on the boat.