Day 2 – Monday – Ha Long Bay
An early start for the 4 hour drive to Ho Long Bay Bay. On the way was a stop at a pottery ‘factory’ where large pots are hand made. Amazing skill. Continuing on we reached the bay around 1:00pm and headed out. It really was one of those pinch yourself moments. The bay is every bit as spectacular as the brochures portray, although it was quite smokey – hazy. Apparently its smog drifting in from china, which is quite close to the north.
The boat was much more upmarket than expected and the food superb. Late afternoon we arrived at a cave where he went ashore and climbed the 400 or so steps to ‘explore’ the cave (very tourist oriented, so no real exploring. Everything here is VERY controlled to minimise risk.) After that we headed for another island where we could climb another several hundred steps to a lookout, then down again for a swim. Very refreshing after the steep climbing walk.
After that it was back to the boat for a few beers – most expensive yet at 50000VD (about $3.50!) and dinner (more superb food) and a quiet chat with the group. Great bunch of people – more about that later.