We have just arrived back in Hanoi from our 2 day boat cruise of Halong Bay Vietnam. A lot of hurry up and wait including a setback of one day due to the rough weather and increased safety due to the accidents and deaths last month on the same tour. When we finally did get onto our boat we loved it. The views were spectacular, it's no wonder it's a world heritage site. We got to take a smaller boat out and explore some of the more secluded caves. We saw the floating village and bought fruit from the locals there. There was also kayaking and a hike to the top of Ti Top island for a fantastic view of the bay and the all of the limestone karsts. Our ship was the S.S. Dragon Pearl Junk 25 and it was actually a lot nicer than we expected. The rooms were a decent size and the windows opened right up so you could see the views or in our case sit in them and have some beers and a pineapple.
We also got to see the island that is on the Vietnamese 200 000 dong note. We explored a cave and took stupid pictures of each other hiding amongst the rocks and jumping out to scare the Japanese tourists.
We are traveling with a group of people from France which is giving me an opportunity to practice my French which I'm loving. We're meeting tons of new people and loving Vietnam so far minus the weather which is very cold. Tomorrow is shopping for some warmer clothes to take on our trek up into the mountains in Sapa (where it's rumored to be snowing). I'm excited to check out the North of Vietnam and do some hiking and then get down south to the warmth and beaches to relax!