I can't stress enough that if you are going to Halong Bay - do the 3 day cruise! The drive to and from the Bay is long and pretty boring. Most on our bus (including myself) either read or napped during most of the drive. The scenery was forgettable, at best. If you just do the overnight cruise you get on the boat, kayak, have dinner, sleep, have breakfast, visit a cave and go back to Hanoi. On the three day, I got to have an entire day on a nice boat with 3 crew members and two other passengers. We visited a pearl farm and a floating village and spent the rest of the day just doing as we liked. We dropped anchor and kayaked. We had lunch on the boat. We had the option of swimming and exploring a deserted beach. It was the best part of the cruise.
Here are some more photos.
|The fog just added to the beauty.|
|This boat anchored next to us was one of the larger boats. I preferred the smaller boat I was on.|
|Locals still live and work on the water along with all the tourist boats.|
|On day two we dropped anchor for lunch near this secluded beach.|
|This guy is half of the fun couple I spent my day with on the "small" boat. As you can see, it's not so small.|
|The next few photos are of our visit to the floating village. Due to government changes, the life of these people has changed significantly. They live on their boats but must find work outside of their village to support themselves.|
|Many are squid fishermen, which is why this boat has the lights - used to attract the squid at night.|
|Cleaning oysters all day. A great view and all the oysters you can eat but I don't think I could do it. BTW, we were talking about eating oysters and they were shocked that I ate raw oysters. They only eat them cooked.|
|They showed us what the oysters looked like at different ages. Since it was only 3 of us and our tour guide it didn't feel like a "tour", which was nice.|
|This is one of the biggest ships, with lots of balconies.|
|The same boat, from a distance.|
|The sails look nice but are only decorative.|
|Just a few of the boats anchored near us for the night. It was the morning of day three and all the boats were getting ready to depart.|