|We decided to get away from crazy Hanoi, and headed to Magnificent Halong Bay, with more than 3000 islands rising from emerald water on the Gulf of Tonkin.
After a 3hr bus ride, we got to the bay and jumped onto a Vietnamese junk boat with nice open top deck, restaurant and 5 guest rooms. Our room was small but clean and newly renovated. Restaurant on the boat serves excellent Vietnamese food, and they served us a lot, each meal came with at least 5 dishes.
The boat first took us to the Amazing cave, we explored inside the cave for about an hour with our tour guide. We have visited a few caves on our trip but this was a very huge one, and walls are almost perfectly smooth as if it was built by man.
After the cave, we enjoyed kayaking for a few hours. Water was so clear and emerald and scenery was just stunning with beautiful islands with innumerable grottos created by the wind and the waves. We enjoyed great sunset over Halong Bay on the way back to the boat.
At night we were treated to a traditional Vietnamese duo singing and playing instruments and they wore traditional costumes. We were really moved with their beautiful singing, no idea what the lyrics in Vietnamese meant, but it was very gentle and nostalgic. Felt bit home sick...
Halong Bay water was so clam with no waves so sleeping on the boat was no problem. In the morning Hiro jumped off the deck to have a bit of swim, but he then struggled to come back to the boat as there was strong current under the water even though it looked very calm.
Halong Bay is just a great getaway from Hanoi and we really enjoyed a night on the junk boat.