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Published: November 24th 2013
Buffet Lunch on Arrival
Paradise Luxury Cruises
This morning after a leisurely breakfast and last bit of sightseeing on our own we boarded a bus to the new port at HaLong Harbor, and our beautiful Paradise Cruise Line junk for our overnight excursion. The trip up was about 3 hours, and the guide tried to make it interesting, but after an hour or so, it was redundant. The road was under major construction, nothing that could have been helped, and will be wonderful once it's completed!It is a glimpse into daily life of rural Vietnamese in the North, mostly farmers and factory workers, and those that support them. Get there, get there soon, Donald Trump is building a mega resort with a private club casino, and it will not be the same after it's finished.
We had packed an overnight bag, a carry on really, and we not going to see our big bags again until tomorrow. The junk had all the toiletries we needed for the overnight, which was really nice, down to razors and toothpaste, excluding deodorant. The rooms were gorgeous, with large showers, twin beds, small deck with table and two chairs, the view astounding. We settled in and headed up to the dining
Fully Stocked Bar
Paradise Cruise Line Halong Bay
room for a buffet lunch of the highest quality to begin or 24 hour trip on this beautiful ship. Half of our group was on the sister ship of ours, and we sailed around together in the busy bay, around and among the rock formations that continually changed with the lighting of day into night and night to day.
We stopped for excursions, first on rowed watercraft to the floating village, 3 to a boat, to see how these people live primitively, subsisting off fishing. We heard the government wants to relocate them because they flush their waste into this beautiful UNESCO site, and I can understand that, so am glad I was able to see this firsthand right now. The next stop was TipTop Island, the only one with a real beach that I saw, where we hiked the rudimentary stairs to get a glimpse from the top. It was worth it for the view, but my legs were like jello on the trip back down.
Another excursion I didn't take was to a deep cave, but I was pooped, and I'd heard about bats and just felt better not going. We enjoyed a lovely diner on
Lovely Twin Room
Halong Bay Paradise Cruise Line
board, and I retired to read after sunset. In the early morning we had sunrise Tai Chi on the upper deck, it was invigorating! After that morning coffee and chatting, then buffet breakfast, packing, and disembarkation. It was a great way to see a gorgeous place.
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