After a few days in Hanoi, today it was time for another travel day. It was not too crazy, but we still spend about 3 hours in the bus to take us to Halong Bay, which is about 200 kilometres away from Hanoi. Halong Bay is very famous for its boat rides, as many tourists like to see the beautiful rocks coming out of the water.
But before we arrived there, we went to this shop slash workplace where disabled people were working on the items that were for sale. It was pretty cute, but I could not really find anything that I wanted to bring along. I was hoping they would have some masks, as I always take a mask with me on every holiday. Unfortunately this was not the case so instead I was just walking around, getting some lemonade, enjoying my time out of the bus.
In the afternoon we went on the boat in Halong Bay, unfortunately it was not one of those famous sail ships with the red dragon-like sails, but it was still a pretty good boat. The weather however, was not really good. Not that it was bad or anything, cause it was not raining. But it was not sunny, and the weather was pretty foggy and gray (although gray weather here means white). So we could not really get a nice tan on the top of the boat, and we could not really see very far.
But still it is an Unesco place, so the nature was wonderful. The rocks coming out of the water reminded me of a boat trip I did in China, but my fellow travellers told me that it was totally unalike, surprisingly. And I am not the biggest fan of boat trips, because usually the first 15 minutes are pretty fun, and then it just gets boring. That sounds a bit first-world-problemy, but I do not mean it like that, I simply have never really liked boats in my life.
We had lunch on the boat with typical Vietnamese dishes, like crab cakes, lemony chicken, spring rolls, sauteed veggies and multiple kinds of fish and shrimps. I did not love this lunch, but it was kind of fun to have lunch on the boat while it took us to the somewhat more open waters with the rocks. In the middle of the cruise, we went on one of these islands to take about 150 steps on
In the middle of the cruise, we went on one of these islands to take about 150 steps on a stairs to go into a cave. It had all these stalactites and stalagmites that were going up and hanging from the ceiling, really beautiful. They were especially beautiful because they have lit them in multiple colors, so it looked just like a rainbow, very beautiful.
What I like about going into these caves is that people always see things in those stones. Some stones look like waterfalls, trees, some even look like something a man has and a woman does not 😉 It was a lot of fun going through the cave thinking about what all those things looked like, and it was nice to spend some time off the boat. I really took the opportunity to take some nice photos, even though they are just telephone pics.
By the way, all my blogs about Vietnam are telephone pics. As soon as I have sorted the ones from the camera, I will make a Highlights of Vietnam post with all the best pics in there. My trip is about 19 days, so a few pics a day should be cool, right?
Anyway, after the caves we went back on the boat, and after that we went to our hotel, the Heritage Halong Hotel for dinner and sleep. It was very funny to see the area, as they are trying to make it a little bit more touristy by not just adding a lot of big hotels, but also building this Asian theme park. So when I looked out of the window of our okay-ish room, I saw a super huge super awesome looking rollercoaster that was not finished yet. Tantalus!