One of the memories I have from when I was a child was seeing a photo of Halong Bay in a magazine somewhere. I remember being so awed by it and telling myself that one day, I’ll be able to see it with my own eyes. Lo and behold, this trip fulfilled one of my childhood dreams. I got to see Halong Bay!
Not only did I get to see it, but I got to spend 24 hours in the area. After our day in Hanoi, a tour bus picked us up from our hotel for the almost 4 hour trip to Halong Bay. The ride was unusually long, if you ask me. Halong Bay is just 160 kms away from Hanoi, so this should only take about 2 – 3 hours.
Upon arriving in Halong Bay, we were ushered into a small tender boat for a 5 minute boat ride to the cruise ship. We were lucky enough to be able to join the Halong Phoenix Luxury Cruiser. We were just supposed to join the Halong Phoenix Cruiser (the non-luxury one) but because of circumstances, they upgraded us to their luxury liner. We got another upgrade for the room, as apparently, there was one no show so they gave my sister a room all to herself. Yay!
Anyway, our room was amazing! It had a panoramic view of the bay as well as two very comfortable single beds (with hotel pillows!) The bathroom was also gigantic! Only, our room was at the end of the boat so the bathroom floor sloped upwards a bit. I would’ve been totally happy staying there for the rest of the trip, but then there was so many other things to see and to do!
The cruise included activities like climbing up to a cave on one of the islands and swimming. There was also a kayaking tour. However, my sister and I opted not to do any of these things. It was too cold! (And we were too lazy, haha.) We went to a beach though, where we watched the other tourists try to swim in 11 degree weather.
The activity I enjoyed the most (because it was the only thing we participated in,) was how to make Vietnamese Spring Rolls. Mine looked awful, but tasted very good!
Anyway, the cruise was very, very restful. I loved every minute of it! And Halong Bay was every bit as majestic as how I imagined it to be. I wish I had a better camera to capture it though. When I go back, I’ll be better prepared!