The Ha Long Bay Cruise was part of the Groupon package we bought for the Vietnam trip. We took the one-day cruise, although there’s an option to have it overnight. It’s just enough to actually experience the place and take photos of the beautiful scenery.
Ha Long Bay is a 3-4 hour ride from Hanoi. Being part of the package we availed, we got there on a private van arranged by the hotel. It was actually already “out of town” but is a refreshing change from the city’s motorcycle bustle.
This is the cruise ship. The seats inside looks more like a restaurant.
Once you’ve settled they’ll serve lunch – really, really good authentic Vietnamese lunch. The food is not plated and is served to groups of five. Since there were only two of us, the guides asked us to sit with another group in the tour. Luckily, there were 3 Pinoys there who availed of the exact same Groupon package we had. We sat with them, and actually ended up touring the rest Hanoi with them.
Despite the really good food, you’ll have to stand up and go out to the balcony once you see the wonderful rock formations. Some of the tourists just left their plates and started taking photos. What I found amazing was how the tourists were so quiet. It’s as if they were so wow-ed they couldn’t speak.
This is me in an attempt to take a few shots of my own under the heat of the noontime sun.
Me and my partner-in-travel-crime.
Nico and the pink hat she insisted on buying in the bay area, just before stepping on the ship.
Our new travel friends: Pinoys in Vietnam!
One of the highlights of the cruise is the Floating Village.
Isn’t this just amazing? I mean, imagine spending your normal days here versus in the city where all you see outside of your window are buildings and man-made things.
A closer look at the cruise ship.
Here comes the rock formations and what-not.
If you listen closely to the guide, he’d tell you the names of the more popular ones – yes, they name them.
I think this one is the fighting cock.
An interesting hut-like looking thing on the side of the mountain/rock formation.
Being a nature person, Ha Long Bay was probably one of the spots I really enjoyed going to in Vietnam. The 3-hour ride was definitely worth it. This is not the end though. As part of the trip, we were also dropped off at the Thien Cung Cave. Coming up in the next post.