From the plethora of tour guides lining the streets of the bustling Hanoi city, we finally managed to select an agent that seemed to quote us a reasonable price. Both Rob and I felt if we paid a little less, weAi??wouldn'tAi??be too disappointed if the trip was miserable ai??i?? the mentality being, you get what you pay for. That being said we chose the slightly pricier 3 day 2 night tour of Halong Bay, one night on the boat, one night on Cat Ba island, all inclusive meals. trekking, swimming and kayaking for $52ai??i??
The highlight for us both that night was climbing off the boat after it had anchored itself for the night and swimming out to a karst and some rocks whilst watching the sunset over the bay ai??i?? it was so beautiful and we were very lucky to be treading water for that moment. It was a tough swim too, even though it was only a few minutes. We swam over to the rocks which were surprisingly sharp (Rob cut his foot) and as we got closer, little pink sea crabs scuttled away into the dark crevasses.[caption id="attachment_1450" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Mighty Halong Bay[/caption]
Rob and I both slept very well although we woke up at 5:30 for a sunset that never really appeared. Then a 20 minute kayak around a karst which was fun, getting out to explore the hollows in the rocks. More bad food for lunch and then trekking in a National Park. I like to think Iai??i??m a pretty good trekker but Iai??i??d lost my good shoes in the river in Vang Vien and with nothing more than flip flops I found the challenging trek even more tough. Still, the summit displayed an impressive panoramic view of Halong and the green covered hills. Almost too sweaty to take it all in, howeverai??i??Then off to our next accommodation for the night ai??i?? a rather mouldy, badly named hotel ai??i?? Sunflower Hotel Number One where it was just nice to have a shower. Rob and I headed to the nearby beach where we had a dip amongst twenty or more screaming Vietnamese, all fully clothed, all holding hands running in to the waterai??i?? It was nice to finally be in the sea swimming about ai??i?? I look forward to more of thatai??i?? All in all, a very good trip, good price, interesting people, beautiful placeai??i??