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December 7, 2015

Halong Bay Cruise

Halong Bay

Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, I did a day tour, there are over night tours also. I was short on time and wanted to photograph the Bay with its thousands of limestone islands, caves and the floating islands.

Halong Bay being a natural Wonder of the world, it's very touristy. I was there in November 2015, the weather was excellent. It is about 3 hours from Hanoi.

Tour: I had booked a tour online, if I had to do it again, I would book a tour once I got to Hanoi, you can have your hotel book you a tour, not only is it cheaper once you are there, the hotel staff will make sure the tour operator will pick you up from the Hotel Lobby. Hanoi is a popular tourist destination and there is no shortage of tour operators to Halong Bay.

My tour cost was US $55, included Pickup from hotel and drop off, Seafood lunch, Kayaking in the bay and a Visit to a Cave. It was a regular boat, I didn't see any traditional Junk Boats in the bay. The lunch was very good. Over all it took a little over 12 hours for the whole trip.

The tour mini bus does stop on the way for Coffee or bio break.

After lunch on the boat, our first stop was a floating village where we had a shop and some people living on boats, there was kayaking, I opted to have a local row the boat, there were 4 of us on the boat, we did tip the boat driver well. She sang beautiful Vietnamese songs while rowing the boat.

That's her on the right, what an amazing voice.

Next Stop was a Cave, living in Texas where there is a lot of Lime stone, I have Seen underground caves, though not as big or as amazing as this cave.

I had to re-size my pictures for the web page to load faster, I used a Sony NEX, most pictures below were taken without a flash.

The above picture is from where the fishermen discovered the cave, its called Gate to the Heavens as during certain time of the day, the Sun shines though the hole and gives it a great light effect.

On the way back, took a few pictures and admired the natural beauty.

On the way back to Hanoi, the bus stopped for a break to stretch up, the above picture I took of a fruit stand, I did eat a lot of mangoes in Asia and they are delicious.

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