Going back in time a few days, I still need to tell you about Halong Bay.
Me and Dean went together to Halong city with the local bus, a slow start with an hectic ride which took 5 hours instead of the promised 3,5 but we survived. After being randomly dropped of on the high way, we got a motorbike taxi to bring us to a hotel. Wow, this city is ugly! But ok, we didn’t plan to stay here longer than a night, so picked a fancy but cheap hotel.
The next day we got an a boat for 2 days and 1 night. Being in great company of 2 canadian women, we started that day with a nice but really small lunch (aka “anyone still got some food left on their plate, because than I would love to eat that as well”). Followed by a visit to a cave which was beautiful. Bummer that they’ve put neon coloured lights and fake fountains in their though. (that’s where the asians are world champions in, making everything tacky and kitschy by using fake and cheap materials).
The Bay is just stunning, with the carst mountains popping out of the sea everywhere you can look. Unfortunately it was a grey and cold day, so the view wasn’t as good as it can get and so the photo’s aren’t that great as well. But ok. After the visit to the cave we went on a small row boat to visit to ‘lakes’ in the sea, which where totally stunning! A few 100meters further I got in a kayak with Marlee to cruise around some carsts ourselves too. Ending the day with dinner, which was the same as the lunch (yes and the same amount as well), karaoke and the hilarious skills of Dean dancing and singing around on the boat. Well I thought that would be the end of the day, unfortunately it didn’t stop when I went to bed, since there was a massive rat in my bedroom. So staying up all night staring at the ceiling hoping this rat wasn’t gonna eat my stuff or worse ME, the first night sucked.
The next day was sunny, well the weather was sunny, the atmosphere on the boat wasn’t. Getting up at 7.30 (well I was still awake, so wasn’t that big of a problem) we got breakfast and had to check out of our rooms right after, which was pretty weird. Dropped some people of at Cat Ba Island, and had to say goodbye to Dean since he stayed there. Than the fighting began. The staff trying to let us pay for more drinks than we actually had, and not giving our passports back If we didn’t pay for it. People getting double rooms instead of single. RATS! Trying to skip the lunch we payed for, and so on and on. With me almost fighting the bartender who refused to give back my drive-license and insinuating to actually hit me in the face. Na-a, not gonna happen.
After getting of the boat at 12 ( yeah you wouldn’t call that ‘a full day 2’) we waited for 1,5 hour more for our lunch and bus back to Han Oi, which made us all really cranky, and forgetting about the fact that we actually were in one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world!
Conclusion, Halong Bay is beautifull, seeying the flaoting villages, enjoying the landscape, kayaking, getting on row boats, but the tours just suck (unfortunately there’s now way out, since you will get lost sailing a boat yourself through this bay).
Back in Han Oi we took the bus to Ninh Bihn, to spend the night and the next day there. Did a really nice motorbike ride to a national park. After getting 5 wrong directions from local people (they rather give you a random or wrong direction, than actually admit they just don’t know) a guy on a motorbike helped us finding the way and eventually found the park, yeay! Went to see the monkey’s, and had to get back quickly before it would become dark. The landscapes we drove trough were amazing, especially with the sunset, rice fields, graveyards in the middle of the rice fields, carst mountains, cows, children playing on the streets and so on.
© by Hyperjulia