Number One tourism hub in North Vietnam, this otherworldly seaside scenery is simply a must see. We didn’t really have a choice, once we arrived in our hotel in Hanoi we were offered a welcome drink and were told about all the tours and cruises that could be arranged for us. A completely new experience for us this far – no reading in guidebooks and researching the internet, what to see and how to get there, in just 15 minutes everything was arranged for us.
We got picked up by a minibus at eight in the morning on our last day in Hanoi, that brought us to the seaside where we changed into a small boat that brought us to our bigger cruise ship, where we would spend the day and the night. Although our Lonelyplanet had told us November would be the best time to visit this UNESCO world heritage site with blue skies and dry weather, it was cloudy and grey. The scenery was still stunning. It’s like someone put the karst scenery around Guilin and Yangshuo into the ocean.
We got to see it from the sundeck of our cruising ship, and from the top of one of the karst peaks we climbed in the afternoon. We also got to see one of the grottoes that are plentiful around the area. In the evening we got a delicious dinner and a live cooking demonstration by our master chef.
The next morning we got to see one of the floating villages. People actually live on floating homes inside the bay, it’s quite interesting to see. After lunch, vietnamese spring rolls which we learned how to prepare on our own on, it was time to get back to the harbour where we had been picked up. And now, the sun actually came out, at least a little bit. We all regretted that we had to leave, since it was getting nice and warm now.
Here are a few pictures: