Halong Bay


A cruise in Halong Bay is like freshman year in college: you spend hours sitting outside, chatting about life with a bunch of Canadians and drinking cheap beer while some guy strums an acoustic guitar.

Okay, so that’s not exactly how my freshman year in college went, and it wasn’t exactly how our entire cruise went, either.  But it had that laid back, life is good kinda feeling to it.  The scenery was just better.  (At least for me.  Mid-Missouri is no Halong Bay.)  And there was totally an acoustic guitar.

There are dozens and dozens of boats cruising the bay every day.  They used to be dark wood with unique embellishments, but now they are all required to be painted white.  I think the gist of it is that the government decided it looked nicer this way.  They were wrong.  All of the boats look cooler in their pre-whitewash photos.

This was our boat – the Galaxy Cruise.  We spent two days and one night on our cruise, sailing around the bay with its 2,000 limestone islets.  Our cabin was super nice (minus the mildewy smell that happens on boats,) and the top deck was perfect for watching the views.

After a few hours cruising around, we stopped to check out the Surprise Cave.  It’s massive.  This is just one part of the inside.After the cave we kayaked for a while.  (That is not us in the photo by the way – we did not magically transform into Asian girls.)We were on the water for the most beautiful and picturesque part of the sunset.  I didn’t bring a camera, and just enjoyed it instead of photographing it.  Just trust me, it was gorgeous.  These shots are from after we got back onto the boat, when the sun had faded quite a bit.Still gorgeous.
It’s hard to grasp the beauty in photos, but it literally looks like a watercolor painting.After hours of hanging out on the deck of the boat with the aforementioned Canadians and one night sleeping on the boat, we woke up for more cruising around the bay.It’s so hard to encompass the beauty in one image, but here’s my attempt at a panoramic.  It really looks like a watercolor.
You’re used to this view of us by now…But wait – there’s more!  Windblown and zoomed out!I’m totally making good on my goal of taking (and posting) more photos of us, by the way.  Have you noticed?A floating fishing village, where the people basically make a living selling fish and pearls to tourists.

This might have been the high point of our Vietnam trip, which is saying a lot since we loved so much about this country.  Which is a lot more than I can say for freshman year in college.  Acoustic guitar or not.

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