After my morning in the Imperial Citadel in Hue, it was time to take our longest train journey of the trip up to Hanoi, and from there a bus to Ha Long Bay. We started our epic travel day with one of my only Western-style meals of the entire trip: pizza. Some for lunch, and the leftovers for dinner on the train, and we were off!
We arrived in Ha Long Bay to overcast skies, and were given the morning to rest after our long train trip. Around the time we were meant to head down to the board, the temperature dropped, and wind picked up and the rain started POURING down.
We huddled in a café for shelter and a coffee to wait out the storm. Being a fairly seaworthy person, I was beyond upset at the possibility of not being able to actually get out on the boat and see the bay up close. Luckily, after about 40 minutes the weather died down and blew over enough for us to start making our way to the boat.
The overcast skies hovered for the rest of the afternoon, and it rained on and off for the entire time we were on the boat, but at least we were able to get out to see the bay. The boat put on a great seafood meal for us on the way out to the rock formations.
As soon as we got close enough to the formations to see them clearly, all thoughts of food and drink were forgotten. I must have taken a couple hundred pictures of the amazing scenery. Ha Long Bay is definitely worth the trip, but I would really, REALLY suggest making time to spend a few days here. If you can get out on a boat for a few days and just relax and take in the scenery, it would definitely be worth the time and cost. Make sure to check out the small gallery of pictures below!
The ‘town’ of Ha Long Bay is really nothing to write home about, however, I would definitely recommend sticking around long enough to have a few seafood meals! We went to a very local restaurant on our one night in Ha Long and I was almost overwhelmed by the choices of what to order. Basically, all the seafood was kept very humanely in buckets of flowing water and you just pointed at what you wanted, and then asked them to cook it to your liking. The owners made suggestions and the prices were based on weight, all of which seemed reasonable. It was hard to only have the clam soup and grilled prawns which I eventually settled on.
Ha Long Bay Gallery: