Were headed out to Halong Bay, we have checked out of hotel and will return in two days. This is our expexted itinary and will update as the journey progresses and add photos.
We had breakfast at the hotel it was the most comprehensive array of food we have ever seen in a hotel. The food ranges from classic American to French and Vietnamees items beyond my basic comprehension of the cusine.
After a 4-hour buss ride we arrived at Halong Bay and boarded the Paradise Elegance with 31 en-suite cabins, luxury yes, junk no, the boat had a spacious sundeck, spa, main restaurant and piano bar.
Along the route we observed rice paddys, farming and Vietnamees life in general.
The style is traditional and grand, using luxurious materials such as dark wood and leather. The boat is the largest in the Paradise Cruises fleet, with plenty of space to roam around on board. There is lots of outside deck space equipped with comfy chairs and sun-loungers, meaning you can relax whilst still making the most of the stunning scenery.
With large windows and balconies, the cabins aim to create a sense of space, and the suites boast a similar size measurement to an average hotel room. All the cabins have air-conditioning, and there is also no compromise on the in-room amenities, including toiletries, a hair-dryer, bathrobes, slippers and a safe. The cabins also come with complimentary mineral water.
During the cruise we explored highlights of Halong Bay with an English-speaking guide, and sailed amongst some of the 2,000 limestone karsts that make this one of the most famous and dramatic vistas in the world.
We visited Luon Cave – known as monkey cave ia secluded grotto with a full family of Macau monkeys in residents.
Back to the boat for a 15-minute break while they moved closer to Sung Sot cave the largest cave in Halong Bay. Mike decided to stay on rhe boat while Pat took the launch to the cave due to the 200 plus steps in the wet cave. It was a bit early in the trip for a mis-step. Pat is incharge of taking the photos.
While sitting on the balcony enjoying some quiet tine a flotilla of young enterprising Vietnamees girls cane by selling eveything fron wine, beer, snacks to star fish shells; the more things change in developing countries, the more tgey stay the same.
Tonight we anchored at Coconut Tree island.
Dinner on board at 1900 and music in the piano bar.
Tomorrow we visit Ti top island the most beautiful island in Halong Bay. We depart Halong Bay at 1030 for the ride back to Hanoi.
Update – Another overcast day weather wise so we decided to skip the 200 step climb on Ti Top island. The ceiling is very low and the visability is poor, once again proving that you can plan a trip but not the weather.
Even with the overcast weather Halong bay is beautiful with its 1,969 (the year of Ho Chi Minh’s death) karsts.
On the way back to Hanoi we stoped at Legend Pearl. They had excellent demonstration of the process of embedding a small piece of shell, usually from a fresh water musssel honed to a sphere shape.