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Published: August 21st 2014
We arrived in the Halong Bay Harbour around 2pm where a tender boat picked us up and brought us to the Legacy Boat. The boat has 12 rooms and housed 20 people. It was definitely a more relaxed crowd with a mixture of honeymooners, families, and older couples, but it was perfect for what Victoria and I wanted which was a tranquil trip on the bay. We had an amazing lunch of crab cakes, stir fry, shrimp, rice, fruit and more and then got ready for a full day of activities starting with a kayaking trip around the bay. After kayaking we did some swimming in a small cave area which was so refreshing in the humid heat on the bay! We then did some exploring of the natural caves which were absolutely amazing. After that we head back to the boat to watch the sun set and get showered before another amazing meal. The meals alone on this cruise were worth the money. They were far from stingy on portions and all the seafood and traditional Vietnamese dishes were incredible! They also had a good mixture of western dishes to satisfy the variety of travelers. After dinner a group of
about 10 of us sat on the deck upstairs and drank and chatted for hours. It's always so interesting hearing everyone's story and what brought them to Asia. Most of the time people are doing some sort of extended traveling because of the distance it takes to get over here. And almost always they're hitting more than one country while here! It was great hearing their stories though. Vic and I head to bed fairly early because the next morning we had to be up and ready at 7am for another full day. We were picked up by a smaller boat where we had breakfast and picked up one other couple for the activities of the day. The reason we weren't on the bigger boat with our group is because everyone else only booked one day and were headed back to Hanoi. We had our activities separately while the big boat went back to harbour to get another group. Luckily we got to keep all of our stuff on the boat and have the same room which made it really easy. It was nice just being with one other couple during the day instead of 20 people like the day
before because we got to set the pace of the activities and kind of decided what we did and didn't want to do. The day before was really fun but everything felt a little rushed so sitting on a smaller boat and taking naps on the sun deck was perfect. We went to the Bai Tu Long Bay, which was much less crowded, where we kayaked through a series of caves and bays. The views were incredible. After kayaking we went back to the boat to do some swimming and had a huge seafood lunch on board. We got to try some prawns that are only found in the bay that were really delicious, sort of a mixture between a lobster tail and a prawn. We then took another nap on the boat and decided to nix the second round of kayaking so we could enjoy some local wine and lounging. We also visited a pearl farm where we saw how the pearls were made and sold. Such an interesting and lengthy process! Around 4 or so we head back to our big boat where we showered and got ready to meet the second round of people! We then enjoyed
some fruit and tea with the new group and had yet another incredible meal! By the time dinner was over we were so exhausted that we went to the room, watched a few episodes of SNL and then were out by 9pm! Clearly needed the rest after all the kayaking and trekking after not working out once since we've been here! We woke up early, had a light breakfast and then head to the fishing village where we took a tour of another bay. It was raining fairly hard all day but it kind of made it more beautiful and peaceful. We then head back to the boat, checked out, had our final meal, and were on our way back to the harbour to get on our bus to Hanoi. The whole trip was so incredible. The pictures and videos don't even come close to giving it justice. We had such an incredible, relaxing time and now are back in Hanoi, this time staying at the infamous Hanoi Backpackers Hostel in the old district. So far it has been wild. But so much fun. Glad to see a new side of the city and get to know some more travelers!
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