South East Asia Tour – Halong Bay, Vietnam
Originally we were going to do a two night Halong Bay cruise, but decided to add Sapa to our itinerary, so we shortened our stay in Hanoi and did a one night cruise. I found the Petit White Dolphin which only has 4 cabins, and we booked 3 of them. The other cabin was a French couple that didn’t speak English, so it was almost like a private cruise for us.
The weather was foggy and visibility was bad, but it did manage to clear up a little the second day for us. We visited the Thien Canh Son Cave which was cool, but too many people, also the Vung Vieng Floating Village. That was a nice boat ride around the bay with a local girl rowing us around, we tipped her well, except for the French couple.
The food was excellent, way better than we expected. Since I don’t eat seafood, I let them know ahead of time and they made separate dishes just for me which was amazing. I thought I’d be hungry from the lack of food choices, but we were stuffed after each meal.
I would highly recommend taking a smaller boat, it’s much nicer to have an almost private dining room, personal service, and just less crowds. If you’re going in a larger group it can’t be avoided, but if at all possible, look for the smaller boats.
We paid the extra $135 for a private SUV from Hanoi and back instead of taking the free shuttle bus. This was also nice since we were picked up and dropped off where we wanted, got to make bathroom stops when we needed, and just didn’t have the crowds again.
We made our way back to Hanoi for one last dinner with Eric and Cindy, then set off for the overnight train to Sapa.
Music by: Bridgit Mendler – Starry Eyed (Cover)