A trip to Vietnam would not have been complete without a trip to the world heritage site of Halong Bay. We joined a tour and spent one night and two days aboard a traditional junk cruising among the varying limestone cliffs and emerald green waters of the bay.
The natural beauty of the Bay lay hidden today under a very common fog. As I had already seen the similar karst landscape at Yangshuo/Guilin in China a couple of years before, I cannot really say that I was blown away by it. We went onto one of the islands to visit the Surprising Cave – an indeed suprisingly big and beautiful cave with three hollow chambers. We saw some monkeys here too, just outside the cave exit.
Part of the tour also was half an hour of kayaking – enough to paddle a full circle around the main area. The views from the kayak I found much more impressive than from the larger boat: you’re so tiny then and the peaks rise sharply in front of you. I had a better look at the water too, and cannot say that I saw pollution by plastic or other junk floating around (contradictionairy to most of the reviewers below). There is a thin layer of oil on the water in some parts though.
It was very comfortable on board the junk….Claudia and I must have gotten the Honeymoon sweet because we even had a double bed. We also managed to do a bit of kayaking in the bay and went off exploring before finishing up practicing dive bombs off the junk swimming in the bay.