I’m not even sure what I can say about this place. Words or pictures will never do it justice. I’m just so happy we were able to experience Ha Long Bay. To say it is magical or picturesque or one of the prettiest places I have ever seen, might be an overstatement for some and an understatement for others. But we loved it.
Ha Long Bay is quite a long bus ride from Hanoi, but we found a brochure where we were staying advertising a sea plane ride to get there. Dave thought that would be a cool experience. We got a great deal and are so glad we did! To see the bay and the islands from above is breathtaking. The day we flew in was a bit hazy, so it made it all the more majestic. And this is a view you can’t get from the boats below.
Ha Long Bay has close to 2,000 small limestone islands. To see it is to believe it. And in order to see it, you get on a boat overnight. There are so many to choose from, but we chose the Bhaya. Yes, this seems touristy, but it’s the only way to see Ha Long Bay. Luckily, we were there in the off season, so it didn’t seem as crowded on the water.
Once on the boat, they take you out on smaller boats, kayaks if you prefer, to see beautiful lagoons the first day.
The girls and Dave always had fun swimming in the bay before we had a cooking lesson on board and learned how to make spring rolls. Plus Dave and I got to partake in some coconut wine. Fun and delicious!
The next day we are up early to head to the Sung Sot Caves. This was crowded and Dave almost wanted to bag it, but thankfully we didn’t. After walking up steep stone steps behind a line of other tourists, we saw two caves that were pretty cool. But when you walk into cave 3, that’s when your jaw drops! The cave was massive! Almost 10,000 square meters. We couldn’t believe it. With stalactites and stalagmites, it felt like you were in another world. Just to walk around the cave took a while. You can’t even believe something that enormous could be hidden away in these limestone islands. No wonder it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If ever in Vietnam, Halong Bay is a must see!