We booked a two day one night boat ride in Halong Bay. Halong bay, a world heritage site, with more than 2000 islands is surreal and breathtaking in its beauty.
We had a 8:00 am pick up from our hotel. The family was a bit tired and after a night of food poisioning wasnt looking forward to the five hour bus ride to the bay. We were joined in the bus with a french couple, one spanish couple (mum and daughter), a newly married couple from Russia (poor things....), a single male from germany. The kids were well behaved for the entire bus journey.
Arriving at Halong Bay was chaoitic - there were so many tourists and busses and boats. We were given tickets and has to weed our way through masses of people comming and going from Halong Bay. There were also so many boats in the bay.
We arrived on the boat and got our rooms on board (101 and 102) far away from the engines and the newly married couple !!!. We had lunch on board (fish, prawns, rice etc) we then spent a few magical few hours moving through the islands as you can see through the photos. We then moved to what is called suprising cave. A large limestone cave. Again the amount of boats in the bay and the amount of tourists was incredible. I have never seen so many. And I guess the pollution from the boats around these islands is saddening.
Anyway - we had to make the long climb up the hill to see the suprising cave. And I had to carry Isabel up all those stairs - take about getting fit....we had a couple of stops along the way but it was slowing going due to the number of people on the hill. We arrived back at then a few went kyaking and the kids and karen went on a row boat through the caves.
The next morning we had an early start (6:30 am) as they wanted us to climb a peak on one of the islands to look a the view. Wow what a climb and what a view. you get to see across most of the small islands and it was a clear day so it was increadible. Recommend this part of the leg to everyone. However its harder with small kids - so worth doing it when the kids are older....
We then went back down the hill. The kids and Karen stayed on the beach and the kids had a good swim in the bay in their night clothes..... the kids love water......
We then headed back on boat and made the journey back to the bay. We then had the long journey back to Hanoi. The family was tired and slept for half the way before Hannah chucked on the bus...