Published: May 16th 2006May 15th 2006
As Halong Bay is the number one tourist attraction in North-East Vietnam and a world heritage site, we thought we should pay it a visit, and it did not disappoint.
Halong Bay translates as where the dragon descends into the sea and is a collection of over 2000 limestone islands which are absolutely magnificent.
We decided to do a two day tour which started with a three hour minivan ride to get to Halong City where we boarded a boat (yes, Anna on a boat!) for a four hour cruise round the bay, once we were on board we discovered four Australian guys were also on the tour, who we had met the previous day.
We stopped for some lunch near a floating village and also visited two of its limestone caves. While we were having lunch on the boat some children from the floating village jumped aboard and tried to join us, before quickly being escorted off by our tour guide.
We arrived at Cat Ba Island, about 4pm and checked into our hotel to discover we had an amazing view over the bay from our room and balcony before making our way down to have
dinner with the rest of the tour party. After dinner and coffees Jared introduced himself to the locals by pretending he was a badminton champion by joining in a street-side game, before we both moved on to the hacky sack arena in the middle of the main road.
Second day of tour consisted of another cruise around the islands, before lunch at Halong City and van ride back to Hanoi. Came within about half a foot of running over a 2 year old child when the kid decided to play chicken with our minivan.
We discovered in the Lonely Planet a restaurant which had decor consisting of cyclos (mode of public transport being bicycle with bucket in front for tourists to sit in) and decided this would be a novel way to spend our last evening in Hanoi
There are more photos below