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Alicia & Rich's Roads to Everywhere London to Australia on the route less traveled

Halong Bay

VIETNAM | Monday, 26 July 2010 | Views [1135]

Rain is pouring outside our window as we get up for another early start. This time we're up for a 6.30 breakfast. By 8am were in our minibus, on the way to Halong bay. This is a bay of 100's of islands off the Vietnam coast in the South China sea. This isn't an island hopping trip though - all the islands are rocky mountainous structures. We'll be cruising around these islands from the comfort of our Junk (boat).

After a traffic delayed 4 hour bus ride, we arrive at the peaceful Halong Bay. We get on board our Junk and are delighted to discover that there will be just 8 of us for the cruise. We certainly wont be short of space as it sleeps over 20. Our group is friendly and half are teachers on their ridiculously long summer holidays. Its alright for some...

After lunch we're happy to see the rain has stopped as we leave our Junk and hop on a bamboo boat to visit a floating village. The idea of a floating village reminds us of Uros in Lake Titicaca but this turns out to be a different setup. Here, there are normal looking houses individually floating on what look like plastic barrels. They get around using these bamboo boats. Life here seems simple, most are fisherman, they have a floating school, a pearl farm, pet dogs, most of the homes even have TV's which they power from a generator.

Back on the Junk our evenings entertainment is a bit of a tragic affair. Daisy, our guide, is obsessed with karaoke and things take a turn for the worst when I'm volunteered for Yesterday.(Alicia: He actually volunteered himself)

In the morning we visit some nearby caves, known locally as the Amazing Caves, then enjoy a sunny cruise around the bay. After lunch we depart the Junk for good and head back to the crazy streets of Hanoi.


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