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  • Writer's pictureKristin

Vietnam | Halong Bay Cruise

We woke up this morning with no electricity at our hostel. Luckily there was just enough warm water left over in the water heater that I was able to have a shower; but unfortunately, Alex got the leftover lukewarm to cooler water by the time he got up.

Cruisin' in Beautiful Halong Bay

Today we went on a sailing boat cruise within Halong Bay. We boarded our sail boat and set out to explore the Halong Bay area. Our boat cruised through the gaps and bays between the green mounds that ascended out of the water. It was such a nice day for a boat ride; plus, there was no rain, which made it even better!

The first stop on our boat trip was to kayak in a cove. We boarded our kayaks from the boat and then paddled over to the small entrance, which was a hole that we could enter the cove. We kayaked around there and the surrounding areas and then headed back to the boat. Although it was nice, the weather wasn't quite warm enough to get wet, so it was a little uncomfortable when the paddles brought up water and dripped them on our legs inside [Disclaimer: This was mostly uncomfortable for me as I don't like being cold and wet].

We stopped for lunch around a scenic area and had a really good lunch with rice, squid, vegetables and fish on the boat. At the beginning of the boat ride, Alex and I watched them preparing the food downstairs at the back of the boat. They would actually lay the fish and the squid down on the floor of the boat, which wasn't too far from the floor of the bathroom; so much for food serving standards here.... However, we tried not to think of those previous scenes and ate up -- the heat while cooking kills it all, right? It amazed us how good of food they could prepare with such limited resources on their boat.

Caves in Halong Bay

After lunch we stopped at some caves that looked like they were off of Indiana Jones or National Treasure. We wandered around there for a while.

However, we came across the same scene that Alex had posted as his screen saver for the past 6 months in anticipation of being able to come on this trip, and now it was right in front of us! It was cool to see it at last!

Monkey Island

Our last stop of the day was at Monkey Island where there are several monkeys that inhabit the trees and forested areas of that particular island. Many of the monkeys would come up to the rocks on the edge of the water and watch us unload the boat. As we neared the center of the coastline, there was a little house with some monkeys hanging out on the railing. We went to go look at them closer and one of the monkeys looked directly at me, which I then started clicking my tongue at him, which he apparently didn't like because he swooped down to swing through the trees right at me. Some Aussies were nearby and started shouting "run! run! run!"; which I blindly started to do because I had put my arms over my head as the monkey started to swing towards me. I escaped any harm from the monkey, and shortly after the attacking monkey made his exit from the area, so we could resume checking out the others nearby.

Floating Villages

As we pulled back into the harbor for the end of our boat ride we went past a Floating Village. These people build their houses out on the water and then farm fish for a living. It was amazing to see how many of them had dogs at their water houses, especially since there were not many places for the dogs to go except on the little planks surrounding the fish areas and into the water. We thought maybe the dogs were just a back-up for food if the going got too rough. In a way we were disappointed that we didn't have more time on Cat Ba, but we had a great time there and we are excited to move onto warmer weather tomorrow.

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