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Scary bus ride & then scary boat news!

Left Ninh Binh in pouring rain at 5.30am & went on a public bus to Halong Bay. It was the most terrifying stressful trip with very fast crazy driving & overtaking & very loud ongoing beeping of the horn. The horns here are much louder & longer than at home. Never was I so glad to get off a bus!!

We boarded our beautiful big wooden boat at midday & there is 13 people on board from Belgium, Germany,England & Vietnam.

On boarding we were given a cold washer to clean up & seated at big cant tables & cushioned chairs for a yummy lunch of fish, sir fry pork, tofu, veggies, spring rolls & watermelon.

Meals are included in the price of $70 US each, but not our drinks. Our cabin is downstairs on the lower deck near the water & is small but lovely with cane beds & wooden floors. We headed out towards the stunning karst mountains looming out of the ocean like humps on a dragons tail. There are 3000 islands here & they have managed to name 2000 of them!

The weather is a bit dreary & looks like it may rain but the scenery was still stunning. The water is an emerald green & the karst cliffs are steep & vertical rising hundreds of feet & covered in lush jungle.

Oh yeah, nearly forgot the great welcome we got as we were seated to start our lunch – the guide told us that at 7.30pm last night a 3 level boat was blown over in a strong wind squall & 4 people drowned!!! We all looked around horrified, but he assured as our boat will not be in that area that is further out open to more unpredictable weather!!!. We actually passed by the boat which was still on its side &* didn't seem to be out in the open!!

The boat stopped off at a cave/grotto & meant climbing a few hundred steps but was worth it as we went into this massive cave full of stalagmites & dripping water. They had it lit up & it looked amazing. Next the boat stopped at a floating village where the house were painted bright green & blue colours & looked so beautiful against the backdrop of the karsts.

It started raining & even in the rain was so beautiful. We stopped off at another location & went kayaking for 40 minutes, The water was so warm & glassy until another storm came over, with lightning & thunder which was a bit of a worry being out on the water. We moored nearby for the night & there was about another 10 boats around us full of tourists as well. So pretty & peaceful & hoping for some sunny weather tomorrow

Heading out to Halong Bay

Heading out to Halong Bay


The dining room

The dining room


Front deck of our boat

Front deck of our boat


Our cabin was off this narrow deck walkway

Our cabin was off this narrow deck walkway


Our boat

Our boat


Stopping at the cave

Stopping at the cave


In the cave

In the cave


Nath in cave

Nath in cave


Pretty all lit up

Pretty all lit up


View from cave exit

View from cave exit


Rain is coming

Rain is coming


Cave area

Cave area


Sheer cliffs

Sheer cliffs


Floating Village

Floating Village


Boat made out of a woven basket

Boat made out of a woven basket


End of the day

End of the day


Nath & I on deck

Nath & I on deck


Getting dark

Getting dark

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Vietnam

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