Let me share the magic of Halong Bay with you! Halong Bay is one of the 7 new wonders of nature and it certainly does more than enough to impress me.
An easy bus trip away from Hanoi, Halong Bay is made up of almost 2,000 islands, each of which take a very long time to form. Larger islands have their own lakes and some have magnificent caves and beaches.
We had boarded our junket well ahead of mid day, had plenty of time to fight over which rooms we wanted on board and get settled before being shown the top deck with wide open views. Once we’d had the grand tour we were invited into the dining room for seemingly endless of plates of lunch including prawns, fish cakes, salad, more prawns, fruit and of course we ordered a few cocktails! Phew, be sure to come hungry.
We were incredibly lucky to have amazing weather in the bay, just the week before there was a typhoon.
After lunch we got to cruise and spend some time admiring the simply incredible rock formations as we left the city behind us.
When our bellies were a little less full we stopped at a gorgeous island for some swimming. However, this island had a lookout and we made it our mission to climb it and enjoy the sweeping views over the bay before racing each other back down for a swim in the lovely and cool water.
While swimming, frolicking and reflecting on our trip so far the sun began to set. It was the most amazing, vibrant orange sunset you could ever imagine. We rushed out for a quick photo, then rushed back into the water to reflect and soak up the entirety of this life couldn’t be any better right now moment.
Back on board and feeling refreshed after our swims we were again invited to the dining room for more incredible plates of food. Featuring more fresh seafood, curries, hot chips and dessert than I ever thought possible we jumped back into the cocktail menu and opted for an evening of Family Feud with our resident comedian Rob as host. Luckily I was on the winning side of the room!
Our boat crew did offer karaoke, however, we decided we were all such terrible singers that we’d stick with our trusty Family Feud game.
The next morning I had to pinch myself to say that it was definitely real as I could not imagine a more beautiful place to wake up to on my birthday!
We were again treated to a delicious breakfast including plates of fresh fruit, fried eggs, pastries and more! Side note – Vietnam was French colonised and the pastries there will blow your mind.
Breakfast also came with a special birthday cocktail and the group singing Happy Birthday, for what would be the first of two times that day.
After breakfast we were whisked off to a beautiful cave with many stalactites and stalagmites. We all took an opportunity to walk through a part of the cave and enjoy its beauty.
After our cave visit it was back to a couple more cocktails as we reflected on our Halong Bay visit and prepared to go back to Hanoi.
I travelled with Intrepid Travel on their 14 night Scenic Vietnam and cannot highly enough recommend the Intrepid group as a small group tour provider.
Make the time to visit Halong Bay on your Vietnam trip! You won’t be disappointed. Maybe even stay on board for 2 nights to really soak it all in.
Halong Bay is truly magical!