Halong Bay, Vietnam

I heard from people that this place was a must see when visiting Vietnam. I especially wanted to go because I never got to El Nido in Palawan (in the Philippines) which also has limestone jutting out of the water. Our tour company booked us on a gorgeous boat which we did an overnight cruise on to sail out to see the awesome rock formations. My only requests were that Coco and I not share a room with anyone and that the boat be high quality with life jackets and a well-trained staff.  I read a story on a blog about a woman whose boat capsized in the middle of the night in Thailand. I was not trying to have that happen!! Our tour company, Absolute Vietnam Travel, did not disappoint. I was very impressed!

Halong Bay is about two hours from Hanoi. The drive there was very interesting. I was really impressed at what Vietnamese people can carry on their motorcycles!

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Like most of Asia, Vietnamese women are obsessed with keeping their skin white. I saw people covered completely from head to foot and it was over 100 degrees. Insane!DSC_0022The houses also interested me. They were so tall and skinny! Makes sense if real estate is expensive and if you could get a view of the bay that way. They all had gorgeous wooden doors and windows and they all had balconies, too. I thought they were so pretty!
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Other sites on the drive there:
DSC_0003 DSC_0012 DSC_0011 DSC_0010 DSC_0006 DSC_0031One thing that I really loved about Vietnam was the mixture of old and new. Highrises and rice fields, airplanes and cyclos, cell phones and phở.

We got to the boat, Indochina Sails, and boarded. Look how gorgeous our boat was!IMG_9917First thing we did after settling in our room was have lunch. Here is our room. So nice!IMG_9748IMG_9754Next up, lunch. The food was so good! My little adventurous eater tasted many things.IMG_9779 IMG_9764 IMG_9766 IMG_9775 IMG_9770IMG_9778 Then we sailed off to see the limestones. The boat had an upper deck where we had a panoramic unobstructed views. So beautiful!IMG_9760IMG_9772We got out at a beach and walked up 400+ steps to capture this amazing view. Coco ran ahead of me and, unlike her old out of shape mother, was not winded at all at the top!IMG_9786 IMG_9783IMG_9796 IMG_9797 IMG_9800

Later that evening we went to see the floating village. It was so quiet and peaceful!

IMG_9814IMG_9810 IMG_9808IMG_9855 IMG_9830 IMG_9816We got back to the boat shortly before dinner was ready. There was time to go up on the top deck for before dinner drinks. I had a glass of white wine and some peanuts while I got a foot & leg massage and Coco drew pictures on the deck. So relaxing I tell ya!  IMG_9857We slept very well that night.

The next day we slept in and then went with the group for a hike to see bats in a cave.
Coco thought the bats were really interesting. And then we had a delicious breakfast.IMG_9867IMG_9866IMG_9868 IMG_9888 IMG_9891IMG_9902 IMG_9882IMG_9908 IMG_9912 IMG_9925 IMG_9924I loved, loved, loved Halong Bay and Indochina Sails. If you are booking a trip there I highly recommend them. I will say, though, it was quite romantic and personally I feel it’s probably better suited for honeymooners than single mommas! Still loved it though! 😉

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6 Responses to Halong Bay, Vietnam

  1. LFFL says:

    Love all the pictures!

  2. zoya says:

    Wow, what a great tripp! I would like to go to Vietnam some day…

    • Joy says:

      It wasn’t really on my radar to be honest, but we had a week and needed/wanted somewhere to go. It was clearly cheaper than it ever would be if traveling from the States so I decided to go for it. I really enjoyed it!

  3. Jessi says:

    Looks amazing (minus the bats… they creep me out).

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