All we knew about the bay was that it was declared a heritage site and from the pictures looked spectacular. Our only worry was the number of boats that now cruise around it. These fears were not helped by the armada of moored vessels that greeted us when we reached the dock. Actually though it wasn’t too bad on that front during our three days on the cruise.
The boat we were on was a new and modern 8 cabin number that soon became apparent we would only be sharing with one other Aussie couple.
Because of the lack of passengers we were given the ‘VIP’ cabins and they were excellent with a shower better than most we had experienced in hotels. Satisfied with our digs we were served possibly the largest five man dinner in the history of the world! This belly buster was followed swiftly with a trip to the ‘Amazing Cave’. Every boat stops here so we were dreading the crowds, but again these proved unfounded. This cave was discovered by the Frenchies in 1850’s and it even lived up its name and it was both huge and totally ‘amazing’.
Some kayaking followed around the islands whilst demonstrating our kayaking prowess we bumped into some American friends that we met in Lao and then back to the main boat via the smaller boat we had taken in the morning, A quick shower headed into the ‘Party BBQ’ that was on the itinerary. This started with a nice meal cooking our own food at the table and then the staff hit the music and party lights and demanded we dance! Vodka was the only option at that point and the evening degenerated into Karaoke and a very late night.
Two bottle of rice vodka weren’t such a good idea and our 7am wake up call was met with howls of derision. Forced from our bed we were taken to a floating village of fishermen. Peering through the haze this actually was quite interesting an even included a school all buoyed up by polysterene. We followed this up with an afternoon in the secluded Three Peaches Beach area which was simply awesome to explore on foot and kayak. During this we saw several starfish on the beach and some amazing flying fish. Exhausted we headed back to the boat for a sleep before dinner with our new ship mates. These turned out to be a couple from France who to my surprise agreed to more Karaoke! Fortunately though we only sang until a tame 10pm.
Refreshed we headed out on our final day to Titop beach where we climbed to the top to see the view of the entire bay. It was a lot steeper than we thought but through the wheezing we were able to soak up the glorious view. The rest of the morning was spent cruising through the many bays in the area and lazing around in the sun on the deck of the boat. Very satisfied we headed back to Hanoi.
Allie – The scenery was of course tremendous, it reminded me a little of Guilin, China, but on a bigger scale. Lots of lush green islands surrounded by fairly clean water, which we happily kayaked around in, as Duncan mentioned the flying fish were something else, glistening in the sun I had never seen anything like that before.
Our guide was a sweet Vietnamese girl who was very knowledgeable and a karaoke queen, although she got a little annoying by the third day with her tales of singledom, how at 22 she is left on the shelf and too fat to get married! (She wasn’t fat). I asked her if she had a scooter, and she said that she had to have a boyfriend to have one, which is the way most of her conversations ended.
Our shipmates the Australian couple Emma & Michael were on our wavelength and loads of fun. Our fellow Europeans at first didn’t seem to be as lively until they starting to belt out the karoake hits, and even with sore throats and me still in a vodka induced malaise we weren’t going to be beaten by the French so we had to compete!
Rtwmurraystyle (From United Kingdom)