Yes , Ha Long is beautiful.Not even kidding.
It’s a loooong drive to Ha long. Nearly 4 hours , mostly because it’s a slow drive with two ” obligatory stops” .One at a textile factory and the other a pearl.
We hired our own transport via ha long bay luxury travel, so it was way more comfortable. Our driver didn’t speak very good English, so we couldn’t really ask any questions , much to his delight.
Upon arrival at the jetty, we met with our very own “flag bearer” , where we joined a group of about 15 and was ushered into a boat.
Into the boat we went , and was served lunch.Lunch was elaborate – fresh seafood, rice , beef, chicken , salad , fruits. Point to note – no drinks are served, everything to be bought including water. They pretty much rushed us to finish lunch so they could clean up and we could set sail into deeper horizons. Once lunch was cleared,out came some handicraft and local jewellery. If you re looking to browse, just browse , don’t touch. Once touched……..they bug you till you buy it. SO ANNOYING!
Anyway, once that ordeal was over ,we were allowed to head up to the rooftop of the boat.And yes, this is where the beauty lies. It’s truly captivating. Weather was rather gloomy , so no sun to have those perfect “for the gram” photos but on a positive note, it was easy to sit on top and not sweat our armpits out.
Two stops along our sail.First at the Fisherman’s village. ( we didn’t see a village . You have an option of kayaking or hopping onto a little boat to take you around a bay)
Second, limestone cave. Probably the most beautiful I’ve seen in my life.
photos don’t do justice to this
Apparently , some overnight cruises arrange dinners at night. Clearly a great romantic option.
views just before getting into Suprise cave
We sailed back by 4pm and then checked into Wyndham Ha Long for a night’s stay.( I would totally recommend this hotel)
All I can say is , there is really nothing ELSE to do in Ha Long. I wouldn’t bother staying a night, you’re better off driving back to Hanoi.
-Bar at the hotel closes by 10pm.
-Sun World @ Ha Long is really no fun except for the cable car ride across.Not worth the money , especially since you only have a few hours before closing time.
extremely slow ferris wheel
complimentary ride with purchase of cable car ticket
-Night market was badddddddd. Hanoi is way better.
Lesson learnt – head back to Hanoi, rest the night , so you wake up fresh for Hanoi the next morning.