We have been off the grid for the last few days on a Junk Cruise in beautiful Halong Bay, a world heritage site. It has been an incredible journey with beautiful limestone cliffs rising out of the sea all around us and Aqua green warm waters beckoning us for a swim. Our relatively small boat had a variety of people from all over the world, about twenty people who we shared our meals with family style. It was a great way to meet people and we enjoyed some fun company. Our cabin was simple and sufficient with our own shower with Windows looking out to the passing view. But the top deck views were breathtaking and we spent a majority of our time here. Many opportunities came for exploring and we transferred to a smaller boat for a visit to a fishing village to see families living on the water in traditional ways. We spent a day kayaking around the islands and swimming in the warm water and hopped on a little fishing boat to learn how they fish. I have a new appreciation for this back breaking work which requires a lot of patience and endurance. We visited an oyster farm and learned how they cultivate pearls and saw an oyster crack open right in front of my eyes with a big pearl in the middle. We also ventured in a herd of travellers into the largest cave I've ever seen called Surprise cave. It was stunning but unfortunately spoiled by the number of tourists.
The views were the highlight of this experience and we were fortunate to have decent weather for the most part. Everywhere you look is a Picture postcard. We would say this is one of the most beautiful parts of the world though perhaps the busiest with the hundreds of boats that come and go packed with tourists. As we are two of them, we can appreciate why this is a heavily visited area. There is nothing quite like it close to home. One thing we really appreciated was that while many boats anchored right in Halong bay centre, ours went further afield to a quieter bay with still amazing views.
Our relaxing break away from the busy noisy city of Hanoi gave us a recharge we were needing. Now we are en rote to the airport to fly to Danang and will stay in Hoi Ann, another beautiful town in this beautiful country!