A Wintery Day in Ha Long Bay

After a very short and packed post on my Vietnam trip, I would like to make a single post for each place I visit. The first one, of course, as any other person would: Ha Long Bay. I have been long dreaming to go see this Descending Dragon Bay. It looks amazing from photos, photos of friends, photos on the internet it looks like a place you would see in a dream. Boats, emerald green water and limbstones.

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Me and the beau went to Vietnam with certain budget, but we also wanted to have fun so to avoid the hassle of going by public bus and difficulties of finding boats to go with on the scene, we took a tour from our hotel for 57 USD each. Turned out it was Alova Cruise Day Tour. The guide was good, the bus was comfy, and the food was great. We were getting picked up at 7.30 in the morning and arrived back in Hanoi Old Quarter at 7.30ish at night.

When we arrived in Ha Long Bay though, it was drizzling and the weather was super cold for me (it was probably only 13 or 14 degrees) but as a tropical girl I struggled a bit. It was cold and covered with misty fog. I was hopeless. We couldn’t see anything but the fog, even when the boat sailed it was foggy for the first ten or fifteen minutes. As we went further, we started to see some limbstones hiding through the fog. It was beautiful, but no emerald green water. It was brown-ish. It was a little disappointing but oh well…

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As we went further though, the water started to look a bit green. I guess it depend on the depth of the water, and the water from the rain. We passed a fishing village where we saw houses and on the water and even a school! We stopped here for a bit and tourists could go on a bamboo boat to go around or go kayaking with some additional expense. We didn’t. Why? Because I can’t swim and staying on the roof of the boat enjoying the view of the bay was pretty good. All boats looks the same though, try to remember the name or the number of your boat. I didn’t remember mine but our boat had colorful balloons on the roof which made it pretty distinguished from the others.

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We also went to Thien Dung Cave, which translated into the gate to the sky cave. It was alright, but going in the cave was part of the one day itinerary. After the trip to the cave, we sailed back to the harbour and I had to say goodbye to the bay. It was a great trip after all, although I want to try to see Ha Long Bay in the summer. There’s no need  to compare but we think there’s a need to see this place in both weather. Photos of the bay in the summer looks cool, but rainy, cold and foggy made it a bit more mystical and special, if I may say.

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