Cruising Halong Bay (下龙弯)

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October 18th 2009
Published: October 25th 2009
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Day 3: Sunday, 18th October 2009

After saying goodbye to the friendly hotel folks at Hanoi, we continued our voyage to Halong Bay, about 3.5 hours drive from the capital. For USD95 per person, we were given a night's stay on the mid-range Halong Phoenix Cruiser including 4 meals on board. Fair enough, even though we wished that there could at least be 2 bottles of drinking water available in each cabin. Ironically, drinking water was a precious commodity in Halong Bay, something we oftened took for granted back home. A 500ml bottle would drown USD1 from our pockets.

The cabin and bathroom were relatively spacious according to my 3 Star Cruise experts on board. I've never sailed on a cruise but thought that our Phoenix was relatively exclusive given that there were no more than 20 of us on board today. No cable television meant that we had greater opportunities to mingle around with fellow travellers while brushing up with my half-baked Thai.

After lunch, we stopped by the massive Sung Sot Cave for some postcard perfect memories of Halong Bay. My body was no longer fit enough to continue with the kayaking activities that followed. 3 days into Vietnam, Panadol had became my best friend.

We stayed behind together with another Thai family. While waiting for 18th October's sun to set over Halong Bay, I caught a quick nap hoping that the headache would go away. HQ and CC were busy playing with the kids of the Thai family.

As the sun continued to set over the mountains in the evening, everyone on board were captivated by Halong Bay's gorgeous sunset. Nestled among thousands of limestone cliffs and emerald waters, it was no coincidence that Halong Bay is voted Vietnam's most popular attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Straight after dinner, I went back into my own cabin and had an evening of my own. The rest of them continued their voyage into the night at the top deck in search of stars in the dark sky.

Certainly, 18th October 2009 would be a memorable day for everybody on board the Phoenix Cruise.

Additional photos below
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26th October 2009

To be surrounded by majestic scenery and watched stunning sunset in the cool sea breeze is surely an excellent way to relax your mind and soul... I really miss that evening at Halong Bay - HQ

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