Oct 21, 2006 – Ha Long Bay

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It was one of our first tours in Southeast Asia and we were a bit nervous seeing that weren’t big toury kind people. The one thing was that we were all anxious to get out of Hanoi and the noise and get to the ocean and relax a bit.

The best things about this tour was the the part that we didn’t have to organize anything like our food and stuff, but the best part was the FOOD!!!!!!!!!

Sizzling deep fried squid with freshly cooked onions, also the fish and the spring rolls. And the best part that it was all so fresh – seafood that was caught that day. All in all it was SOOOOOO SCRUMDIDLYUMPTIOUS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMM MMMMMMM MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But there was other things other than the food, but not as good!!! Just relaxing on the boat was quite refreshing with that cool ocean breeze, but not as good as eating on the boat, not kidding !!!!! Also we spent a day of kayaking around the islands visiting a fish farm and kayaking across some windy open ocean. After kayaking for that full day we got to visit a floating village in the middle of the islands. The village is mainly like one big fish farm with 200 people widely spread living on floating houses. That is somewhere where we are not going to live, so little space!!! But after spending a day on the ocean there nothing that feels better than having a nice cold, long shower to wash away that layer of salt that is just rotting and molding onto your body. And then of course after having that splendid shower there is nothing better than having a nice BIG hot scrumdidlyumptious seafood meal to wash away the last of that salt. Then jump into your big cozy bed and have nice luxurious sleep until the morning when you get another layer of salt on you and you have the same routine all over again.

That is pretty much all the highlights i can think of at the moment but im sure my dad can find more.

OK, Ger here and while I have to agree with Torin that the food was definately a highlight, as was the luxury of not having to plan the details, there were a few others for me. The scenery was magnificent. It was truly a kayaker’s paradise and it would have been great to spend several days wandering through the islands (with a guide of course as one could easlily lose their way here). Meeting and getting to know Dave, Dennis and Miriam was also a highlight and we were very lucky to have them in our group. Sleeping on the boat with the windows wide open and then waking up the next morning to the sights and sounds of the ocean. Slipping over the side of the kayak to swim in a quiet lagoon! Paddling back to the boat with the sun beating on my back. Lying on the beach waiting for our lunch to arrive (and what a delicious lunch it was)! The view from the top of the hotel on Cat Ba island. Having a near miss when the pilot left his post and the boat headed for the closest island (a rock face). Watching the pilot wiggle his way into the traffic jam to park the boat in Halong Bay.

All in all, it was a most enjoyable few days and Halong Bay is definitely a place we would go back to.