Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

My dad said we had to go to Ha Long Bay, so off we go, with Go Asia Travel. They picked us up from our hotel via a huge bus, which thankfully had free WiFi. After several hours and a pretty scenic drive on the way (visible from the distance was the venue where they filmed Kong, featuring Tom Hiddleston), we arried at the Tuan Chau International Marina.

Tua Chan Marina, Vietnam
View of Ha Long Bay from the pier

We got onto a boat that was a little cramped in the dining room. We weren’t allowed to go up to the second floor unless we were docked, for safety reasons. However, we were free to walk around the boat. There’s also a small toilet at the back of the boat.

We stopped at Động Thiên Cung, an island filled with stalactites and stalagmites. They put different colored lights strategically around the caves. It’s a bit of a walk up and down and around the caves but it’s not that difficult. But if you have a bad knee, you might want to consider it carefully.

After the Động Thiên Cung, we cruised around Ha Long while we had lunch. We were seated with an interesting German couple. The woman was a doctor for children, while the man was originally Polish who fled the country for political reasons and sought asylum in Germany. They told me so many stories about their lives, and I was sad that our conversation ended after the trip. I thought I was going to see them again once we disembarked, but apparently they weren’t part of our bus group.

We also had the option to go kayaking around the islands or visit the fishing village, but my family and I opted to stay on the boat. Up close, the mountains looked just like the ones in El Nido. However, we had a lot of fun taking photos because the backdrop was undeniably gorgeous.

Ha Long Bay was such a great experience for us. I hear a lot about how it’s just like in El Nido, and to some extent, I agree. We weren’t able to visit the islands with beaches, which the guide mentioned to us, but one notable difference is that when the sun set, a foggy haze descended upon the numerous mountains, and it was so beautiful, it took my breath away.

It’s always so surreal whenever I get to visit places I’ve only read about in books – and this is one huge check off my list.

Read about my other posts about Vietnam here:


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