I didn’t want to go at first, but my friend really wanted to go… So we decided on one night away. There were tours costing several hundred dollars, but we decided on one costing $138 each, with V Spirit Classic Cruise. I had read in a guide that if you paid the absolute minimum the tour would not be so good, but alternatively, paying a lot would not get you very much more than an average price. I think the price was right, and I was happy with the quality.
The schedule was that we were picked up between 8AM and 8.30AM, and taken by bus to Halong Bay, where we would board the board for a two day, one night cruise of the bay. All meals were included, but drinks not. Then, after lunch on the second day we were returned by bus to our hotel, at around 5PM, but dependent on traffic.
We were picked up at 8.20AM, stopped for a break around 10.15AM, and arrived at the dock around 12.30PM.
We arrived at the dock about 12.30PM.
We had to wait for a bit over an hour to board, but it was comfortable there, and they had a coffee shops and bar. We were on board before 2PM.
The room was as advertised, with an ensuite and private balcony.
And then we had lunch. Good food, and so much of it!! Drinks were expensive by Vietnamese standards, but not by western standards. e.g. Beer was about $2 from memory, and cocktails about $4 or $5 depending on the cocktail. We were told if we bought any drinks from the boat vendors you see floating around, we’d have to pay a surcharge to the tour.
They kept us busy with activities, and there wasn’t much time for relaxing. Kayaking was fun!
After kayaking we were off to the beach!
First we climbed to the top of the island for the views.
Then we swam – a little cool, but refreshing. It was March, so not unexpected.
After a shower it was about 8PM, and time fro drinks and dinner. Then some entertainment, and it was soon bed time. We were pretty tired, and I wanted to be up at dawn for sunrise – but there were also predawn activities for those so inclined – I declined. Tai Chi etc. was available. Crabbing, too, I think. Or was it catching squid? After a huge breakfast we were off to a cave complex.
Then our “cooking lesson”, after we’d returned to the boat.
Many of us thought that the product of our cooking would be our lunch, and we ate a lot of spring rolls. But no, next was a proper lunch, after a short time to relax on the upper deck.
Then, after lunch we headed back to the dock, onto the bus, and started back to Hanoi.
Sesame seed salad