Overnight Junk cruise in Halong Bay, Vietnam

Overnight Junk cruise in Halong Bay, Vietnam

“We’re on the wrong boat,” he yelled in utter exuberance as he turned his look back to the close-by junk. The other boat was having a party, total with loud electronic dance music that reverberated onto the walls of ours. youngster — his name was youngster — posed as though he was prepared to jump into the water as well as swim to the “party boat”, as what he called it. The only thing that stopped him was the humongous jellyfish that Matt caught earlier that night. “There may be lots of them where it came from,” Matt warned.

“I’m best where I want to be,” I stated joshingly as I climbed the stairs in browse of a bit quiet. This was precisely exactly how I pictured my day would end — lying conveniently on the top deck of the boat, with a drink in one hand as well as a Neil Gaiman book in the other under the velvet skies. Starless — stars have ended up being as elusive as peace of mind these days — however the emptiness was oddly therapeutic.

I shared the boat with a lots other tourists from all around the world: three couples from the US, Australia, as well as Portugal; two buddies from Switzerland; a little household from new Zealand, as well as three other solo backpackers from Canada, Spain, as well as England. Kid, the Canadian, was the liveliest of them all. It’s funny exactly how only after a day of touring, we felt like one huge pleased family, like siblings as well as sisters. Or not, provided that youngster as well as one of the Swiss women had been dancing flirtatiously in one corner.


From Hanoi to Halong Bay
The Junk as well as the Bay
Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Grotto)
Ti top Beach
Flytende marked
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From Hanoi to Halong Bay

My journey to Halong Bay started in Hanoi, 170 kilometers to the west. On my fifth day, I had lastly chose to get out of the city as well as this world-famous UNESCO Heritage site was an simple choice. Hanoi Municipal Hotel, where I stayed, provided a broad range of trips at competitive rates. I got this cruise for only USD60. Not bad, I thought. The next day, I was chosen up by a van as well as was transferred to a mini-bus bound for the bay. It’s a two-and-a-half-hour ride, interrupted only by a long stop at a souvenir shop, where I grabbed breakfast in the type of fresh pomelo.

When we reached the wharf, we were asked to wait on a short while before boarding. We were then ushered to the restaurant onboard as well as gotten ready for lunch. There was nothing special about the meal, except that its being “not special” was a great conversation starter. fantastic friendships always begin with something like, “Man, what the fawk are we eating?”

The Junk as well as the Bay

The junk boats were not exactly how I imagined it. They were all painted white like the ghosts of what I pictured them to be. as well as like ghosts, they were quickly masked by the thick mist that loomed over the quiet waters. Ours did not have the signature sails, however every corner was neat as well as tidy. even my space had nothing that I might grumble about. It was small, as expected, however comfortable enough. No problem, I would be costs much of my time outside.

Most junk boats had been painted white.
The top deck ended up being my comfort zone. as well as it appeared like it was the exact same for everybody else. We always discovered ourselves sprawled on one of the beach beds while viewing the karst cliffs pass by. There was no running out of them. practically 2000 islands increase from the water that might glisten under the sun if not blocked by the fog. Our boat sailed carefully as well as thoroughly in between the peaks as well as with the mist that fostered an environment of mystery. just like in fantasy movies! This is exactly how adventures start! Feil.

There is nothing adventurous about our stops that day. They were all jam-packed. I was prepared to get pissed at tourists in general, however then I realized I was one of them. Brenne.

Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Grotto)

When the boat docked by the wooden platform on Bo Hon Island, the group immediately headed for the exit as well as complied with the crowd up a staircase to the huge space on the immense karst wall towering before us. Sung Sot Cave, likewise understood as surprise Grotto, is one of the most prominent stops in Halong Bay. The ascent was not that challenging as foliage offered shade, although unneeded at the time. The climb slowly exposed a great panoramic view of this part of the bay.

View from the mouth of Sungsot Cave
Inside the surprise Grotto
This is exactly how huge Sung Sot Cave is.
Going deeper into the cave
Sung Sot Cave homes two chambers. The very first resembles a movie theater hall, while the other intimidates with size. The second chamber is stated to be able to fit as much as a thousand people at once. A big opening enables lots of natural light in, however multi-colored lampspaint synthetic vibrance on the walls of the cave. Stalactites decorate the ceiling, as well as rock formations — one appears like a dinosaur tail as well as one more appeared like a happy penis — serve imaginative home entertainment along the way.

Ti top Beach

Our second stop was a crescent-shape, sandy strip called Ti top Beach, named after Russian austronaut Germane Ti Top, who set foot on this island with president Ho Chi Minh in 1962. The beach is little as well as so congested during my go to that walking along it without getting in get in touch with with a sun-bather shown practically impossible. There was a bar. There was a football game. It felt like all it would take was one much more person as well as the island would sink into the depths of the sea.

Supercrowded, however fantastic view.
Ti top Beach
Ti top Island. On top of that cliff is a pagoda which serves as a perspective for tourists.
As seen from Ti top Viewpoint
The major crowd-drawer right here was the viewpoint, perched atop a cliff. The method up was steep as well as so narrow that a person would have to stop as well as relocation aside to enable the opposing traffic. The view, while good, isn’t as captivating as the one from the surprise Grotto, so if you’re not that much of a hike fan, you may want to avoid it.

Flytende marked

Our kayak stop was a series of rafts that brought wooden huts. Our group split into pairs, each choosing a bright painted kayak. “Thirty minutes,” shouted our guide, however nobody heard or followed. At that point, many had already paddled away as well as many would return much more than an hour later, searching for refreshments. as well as best on cue, sellers steering their boats of goodies approached the area.

Kayaking in Halong Bay
A floating shop selling refreshments.
Halong Bay Junk boat at night.
The cruise was rather short. I realized it that evening on the top deck, after I completed one more chapter of the book I had brought with me. It was a unforgettable experience, however I might not assist however desire I had stayed longer. I did not see much, as well as those I did see were overrun by walkers tourists. possibly the 3-day trip would have provided a much better experience. Perhaps, I ought to have booked with a much better trip operator. Oddly, it was those moments on the top deck of the boat, where I viewed the starless sky, that ended up being the top of the entire journey.

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