Coppy right PJandMike
Well yes I am back - I know you have all missed me whilst I have been scanning off on Halong Bay. So here goes, we get picked up on time by the cruise company
and start picking up the other passengers. This is where the fun began as we had one gentleman who was Australian (name of Nigel), he had a very loud voice and very funny.
It’s very interesting that the passengers on board were multi cultural i.e. a couple from the gold coast in Australia, a couple from Spain, a couple from Singapore, a couple from France, 2 couples from Turkey and a lady from Korea - told you we were multi-cultural.
did not look exactly like the pictures from outside but we found out that the Vietnamese government has instructed all the big cruise boats on Halong Bay must be painted white. Anyway, after this was our only disappointment on the trip as our cabin was at the front and had a balcony with sun beds - how lucky are we or what!
So after dropping our bags off we take a boat ride on a smaller boat to see the floating village of Vung Vieng and then onto a pontoon where they show you how they Implant oysters to achieve pearls - that amazed me as I never knew they did this I always thought you were lucky if you had an oyster with a pearl in - how I thought they would have enough pearls to make necklaces, earrings etc I don't know.
So after the little excursion we go back to the cruise ship
and have a sunset party of sangria which really helped the Spanish couple to integrate.
Then we had a cooking class and yes you guessed it we made spring rolls - I should be an expert at these as remember I made them in Cambodia. As you are all well aware by now of my competitive nature I was really up for this cooking class and not only wanted to make the best but also the fastest.
After dinner there was squid fishing but as we were told that it is not squid season I could not see the point in standing at the back of the boat with fishing net and no chance of catching a squid.
So next morning, We went to a little bay and jump kayak. We are taken by our guide Duan (English name Tim) in our kayaks to a little cave which the water is filling up and it is pitch black. I start to panic as we are in a double kayak Mike is shouting at me to go left - remember I don't know my right from left and in a panic situation I can tell you I really do not know it and so I go right and we are stuck under the top of the cave. We have a torch but as I said I was panicking and could not turn this on - so Mike is shouting at me turn the torch on I am shouting back I cannot turn the thing on! What a palaver! All I could think of is we are stuck and the water is coming into the cave so Mike agreed to turn around. So after the cave we kayak around the bay through some really nice BIG natural stone arches.
We then return to the boat for lunch. After lunch we are taken to a secluded beach with only a few people on and you can only get to by boat. This was where the fun started - there was a group of Vietnamese men who kept on covering themselves in sand and hollering - it was like none of them had seen sand before. Then they get in the sea and take their trunks off - they were really enjoying themselves - it was great to watch.
So up early this morning and after breakfast we go to visit the Amazing Cave - yes that is what it is called. After this we are taken back to shore and here we are back in Hanoi at the same hotel - which is good as we left our big bags here, we are sad to leave Owen and Vicki the couple we spent yesterday with as they were great company but we will be keeping in touch with them.