Here's my latest instalment of my throwback travel Thursday posts - I'm doing one of the last posts on Vietnam, I hope you enjoy!
Throwback Travel Thursday: Halong Bay, Vietnam
Probably one of the most well-known natural wonders of the world in Southeast Asia, Halong Bay does not disappoint.
I decided, against my better judgment, to do the 'Castaways' tour.
Initially, I just wanted to do a regular, wholesome boat tour, but people I had been biking with convinced me to do the booze cruise option with them. It was promoted (heavily) at the Backpackers Hostel in Hanoi, so it's not difficult to find if that's what you are looking for!
Oh, Bessie - how I miss you so.
There are also TONS of other places advertised in Hanoi - just make sure you look into their facilities. I found the best way to do it was to go on recommendation of someone else since the boats are of VERY varying degrees of quality, as well as the 'activities' you do during your stay there.
As for us, a bus brought us to the main dock and we got on our boat. The first day, we stopped off at a cave that was all lit-up with neon lights (super tacky, but kinda cool), and then we got to the real event - hanging out on the boat deck with our unlimited complimentary drinks ;)
The second day, our boat trudged along and we had the chance to do 'rock climbing' (aka 4 pairs of shoes to climb a random rock face in the middle of Halong Bay) and to kayak into a little bay - which was actually super cool.
We ended up on a beach with a bunch of bungalows, with straw mats in communal rooms, with other booze cruise boats. It was a beautiful beach, but the facilities weren't so hot. Honestly, we didn't mind - we had prepared ourselves with bottles of local whiskey ;)
Regular debauchery happened that night, midnight swims and whatnot, and then we were picked-up in the morning to boat past the house boat settlements in the bay. It was a beautiful ride back amongst the crazy rock formations.
Overall, Halong Bay is not to be missed. Although it is a SERIOUSLY touristy thing to do, it's kinda something you just have to do if you're in the north of Vietnam and have an extra 2 or 3 days to spare.
While Vietnam has some of the most beautiful natural landscapes throughout the country, it's pretty cool to be able to boat through those fantastic rock formations in a UNESCO heritage site.
- Have YOU been to Halong Bay? What company did you go with? Is it now on your "I MUST GO" travel list??