Ha Long Bay (Vịnh Hạ Long)
Ha Long Bay tours are advertised in pretty much every Hotel also in many restaurants, cafés and shops throughout the city of Ha Noi. We decided against choosing a tour with savage foreign Vietnamese people and also chose not to go on the often alcohol fueled back-packers tour. Instead we opted for a civilised Kangaroo Café tour.
The Kangaroo Café is Australian owned (as you might have guessed), it boasts many claims. The café seems to thrive on making irrelevant rules; read this, don’t touch this, don’t do that etc. They also hammer into their customers the fact that there are other Kangaroo Cafés in Ha Noi but they are all utterly and completely FAKE! Oh and sadly, they use the comic sans font, which always turns me off.
However we sought to look past all that nonsense and tried to acquire ourselves a nice & lovely tour around Ha Long Bay; and that is most definitely what we got.
On the morning of departure I helpfully decided to show symptoms of food poisoning. I really was suffering, and so was Sibyl as a result of it. I really don’t tend to get sick, so when I am sick, like many men I don’t do it that well. (Example.) We considered just cancelling the whole venture, but there was no refunds and we predicted I would get over it in a few hours.
The minibus was nice, spacious and air-conditioned. I was blowing chunks throughout much of the journey, which was gorgeous. I always like making good first immpressions, so it was nice to be known as the sick boy for the rest of the weekend.
By the time we arrived I wasn’t feeling any better, and I was off my food. By the afternoon I was feeling slightly better. By this point we were on the boat and approaching the limestone karsts and isles.
The main activity of the afternoon was kayaking, Sibs went up front and I sat at the back, not really doing any rowing. It was a really nice time as we were able to go up really close to the rocks.
We had a lovely evening sitting on the edge of the boat. We were told that sunrise was at 5:45 so we got an early sleep.
5:45 came and we rushed to the deck to see the sunrise. It was slightly disappointing as we couldn’t actually see the sun due to clouds.
The next day it was time for a visit to a cave called Thien Cung. It was a visual feast.
When we got out of he cave we were pretty high up and were able to see some amazing views.