Backpacking Days: Halong Bay

October 2009


I should say that the highlight of this getaway was spending the night in Halong Bay. Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi were also exciting, but it was my first time to sleep on a boat, and not a moving one this time. I slept on moving ferries during overnight trips in the Philippines.


We rode a van from Hanoi to Ha Long. I couldn’t remember the exact location but we passed a bridge. It was not near. I took several pictures along the way but most of them were lost. There were already many tourists waiting at the wharf. After several minutes, our boat was ready. The cruise was composed of different nationalities.

The bay was calm. That was our first day in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Several isles started to grew bigger from where we were. We then stopped at Bo Hon island to explore caves. Stalagmites and stalactites greeted us once inside. They were lit with multicolored lights. We also explored the other chamber, which was bigger.


Some people stopped at Cat Ba island to spend the night there. Most of us remained on the boat. It was not scary because there were other boats near where we spent the night.


The next day, we saw more limestone isles and karst formations. We also passed by some floating fishing villages. We stopped in one village to kayak. It was quite a foggy day.


Part of the cruise was meeting different people from other parts of the world. It was a great experience. The moment we saw familiar isles on our way back, it was time to bid farewell.



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