VIETNAM: HaLong Bay

Well things have been busy over here the last few weeks, so I’ve gotten behind on my posts. Rest assured that means I have a whole bunch more material to work with though!

Continuing where we left off: the highlight of our trip to Vietnam was probably the cruise we took on HaLong Bay. We unfortunately had this portion of our trip cut short due to an impending typhoon, but the time we did get to spend out on the water was great! We were advised that you get what you pay for when it comes to these cruises, so we had been staying in $30/night hotel rooms so we could splurge for two days on a fancy boat in the ocean. Let me tell you, it was worth it (even for only the one night we were able to stay out on the bay!)

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Testing out the full capacity of the luxury van. We were later joined by four Indian people for our 4 hour ride and had all sorts of entertaining conversation, part of which I could not participate in as I am only part way through the game of thrones book series…
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Debating which boat was ours as we waded out through ~40 different boats (commonly referred to as junks). I won the debate by correctly picking out the biggest prettiest boat in the harbor. Winning!
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Outdoor eating area for lunch.
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The most comfortable bed I have slept on since we left the US I think.
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Shower and tub with fresh and salt water options!
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Small saline pool on-board in case you get the urge for a dip.
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You can tell from our faces how hot and humid it was after crawling around in some of the caves.
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Kayaked into a small cave at one point which had a bunch of brown and bright purple crabs climbing all over the rocks!
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Part of the cave with the rest of the residents of our junk for size purposes.
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We were told people were actually living in these caves up to ~2008 when they were asked to leave because they were destroying some of the natural growth inside. There is a special conservation group dedicated to maintaining the natural beauty of this location.
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The next morning I got up early to try some Tai Chi as the sun came up and got another glimpse of the beautiful rock formations all over the bay.

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On the way back to Hanoi we got to stop by the Yen Duc village and see a water puppet show. I believe these shows were originally created for royalty in Vietnam and have since become entertainment for tourists among others. Most of the singing was in Vietnamese complete with live musicians. It was an interesting tale of a little bit of Vietnamese history and customs, and was quite entertaining. It is manned by several people behind the curtain wearing waders and handling long sticks attached to the puppets to animate them. I imagine it takes a good amount of practice and coordination to put these shows together!

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3 thoughts on “VIETNAM: HaLong Bay

  1. Thanks so much for posting this. The photography is beautiful!! Your new camera was a great idea. You will love looking at these when you are 80…(smile)….. Beautiful trip.

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