Published: April 24th 2012April 1st 2012
After a 3 and a half hour bus journey, all packed in like sardines we arrive at Halong City where we board the junk boat for a cruise around Halong Bay. We booked a 3 day 2 night tour with 1 night on the boat and one night on Cat Ba Island, which is the biggest island in Halong Bay. As we were waiting on the dock we couldn't see our boat that we were supposed to be getting on. It was very busy and we gott ushered ontp this boat that wasn't the right boat. First of all it was called the party boat when we had booked a 'luxurious' boat. I phoned the hotel and he knew straight away what he hhad done and sold us the wrong thing! He lied to us so we weren't best pleased. Sophie got upset but I re assured her that we will still havee a good time and that we would get some money back.
Halong Bay was beautiful, 3000+ islands scatterd round the emerald, calm waters. The boat weaved through them until we camee to a biggish island were wwe got off. Here was a big underground cave network which was pretty impressive. Some of them were massive and aparently only found in 1993. We walked around them for a few hours and got back on the boat. We then stopped off at a floating village where we kayaked around one of the bays. We went through a hole in one of the rocks/islands. There was a fish farm there aswell which was intresting. We got back on the boat had a cold shower and a rubbish dinner (not the delux we had paid for) and had some drinks with some guys from York. We went to sleep with a nice view of Halong Bay out of our cabin window.
Up early as the boat docked at Cat Ba Island. We got a mini bus to a National Park and climbed to the summit of a mountain. It wasn't really worth it and was quite scruffy for a national park. There is apparently lots of wildlife but the only thing we saw was mosquitoes! After that we got dropped off at our hotel, we got given a nicer one as I kicked up a fuss. It turned out to be a lot nicer and the food was much better and more of it. We then had the afternoon to look aroung the island. We tried to find a beach but without any look so walked around the docks and around the town. All the hotels built into the mountains. We met up with the guys from York and had a few drinks with them. After dinner we met up again, well just me as Sophie stayed in and read. Had a few beers and played pool
Back on the boat this morning and back to Halong City. We were waiting for a bit for our bus back to Hanoi. We arrived at our hotel and I had a massive go at the 'manager' for selling us that tour. To be fair he couldn't epologise enough and gave us $15 each back, but thats not the point. We then went for another walk around Hanoi, went to a water puppet show, had some dinner and back the hotel for an early night as flying to Hue tomorow. M x