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Published: April 19th 2018
Day 2 of our Halong Bay cruise. The day starts (for some) with a Tai Chi class at 6.30 am. The old man goes, but an extra half hour in bed sounds like a much better idea to me.
After breakfast we visit the ‘Cave of Surprises’ (Hang Sung Sot). It is an amazing series of caves with stalactites and stalagmites it varying shapes. Many of the formations are named after objects they resemble. There are Buddhas, animals and a huge penis illuminated in red.
Visiting is quite an ordeal; it’s a 50 minute walk following a prescribed route of stairs and paths with hundreds and hundreds of tourists in a never ending chain. I’m not comfortable being underground, particularly with swarms of people between me and the exit, but I make it round. Once outside, before I have had a chance to compose myself, a fisherwoman puts a basket of freshly caught squid by my feet and one spits ink in my face, which causes me to squeal like a girl.
Back on board, we have a Vietnamese cookery class; how to make spring rolls. A cunning way to keep us amused and make us prepare our
own lunch so the crew can get ready for today’s guests. Once we have finished, our efforts are fried and added to a huge banquet lunch.
Then it’s time disembark. It’s been an awesome 24 hours cruising through the beautiful bay with its calm green water and weird and wonderful rock formations. Definitely the highlight of our Vietnam trip.
We board our bus and manage the 4 hour journey back to Hanoi without any inconvenience to the driver’s social life; he is on the phone for the entire journey. We have dinner (much better made spring rolls) and return to our hotel to rest.
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