June 21, 2016
Our first night on the boat was very comfortable. We both slept in and didn’t make it to 6:30am tai chi. We got changed and went up to the dining room for breakfast. We got there after the Aussies and saw their table full of food… too much food. We sat down and Chris asked us what kind of eggs we wanted. They brought out eggs, bacon, sausage, croissants, and 6 slices of bread! I hope they didn’t waste all the food they prepared for us, we barely made a dent in it.
After breakfast, we had some free time before going to see a Halong Bay fishing village. Tim and I went up to the roof deck to lie around and read until it got too hot, and then we took refuge in our air conditioned room. Here are some of the beautiful sights we saw today. We didn’t get bored of the scenery.
We arrived at the fishing village and went on a row boat to see where the fishermen and their families live. The end destination of the row boat was a fishing museum. The museum showed the history of the people living in the area and how they survived.
After the fishing village we went back to the boat to rest for a bit before lunch was served. Lunch was another large meal, but it was good because we would be kayaking and climbing up 400 steps in the afternoon. We had about 2 hours to digest before we made it to the next stop. Tim stayed inside to read and I attempted to do some sun tanning on the roof. I lasted for like 5 minutes before going back downstairs. The plastic from the chairs smelt like it was literally burning and the sun was scorching. I quickly went back downstairs.
Kayaking was fun. We had double kayaks and we went under a cave into an enclosed area. We saw a lot of jellyfish around and I wanted to touch them with the paddle… It’s not safe to swim in deep waters right now because it’s jellyfish season and you could see them all around. I’ve never seen so many jellyfish in the wild before, so it was neat. After going through the enclosed area we went out into the open water and paddled around before going back to the boat.
Once we were all in the boat, we headed to the hill we were going to climb to get nice views of the bay and go swimming. When we arrived to the beach area, it was so packed with people who were on day boat tours. The beach looked pretty dirty and not that inviting. I think it’s basically the only beachy area in Halong Bay – likely man made for tourists. We started to climb the 400 stairs up to the top of the hill. We took breaks every 100 steps – Pippa was counting. The views from the top were really nice. We only brought our GoPro up so the pictures weren’t as great as we would’ve hoped for. Climbing back down the steps was more dangerous than going up. The stairs are pretty uneven and we were wearing flip flops, so we were being careful not to twist an ankle.
When we got to the beach, I walked into the water and it was pretty warm – probably about 25 degrees. Tim and Pippa went right into the water while I watched. The beach wasn’t nearly as crowded as it was earlier which was good. Tim was sure not to stick his head into the water as it looked pretty dirty. After about 30 minutes or so hanging out we headed out of the water and back to the boat.
We washed up and went upstairs to the roof to see the last sunset. The roof deck is so much nicer at night. Tim and I got a drink and lay around relaxing upstairs. The Aussies joined us and we waited for dinner. Before our dinner tonight, the chef was going to show us now to make spring rolls. We all got to make spring rolls and he deep fried a combination of ones he made before and the ones we rolled ourselves for our appetizer.
Dinner tonight was served family style. Again, it was a lot of food that we didn’t come close to finishing. Everything was delicious and I enjoyed the chef’s cooking on the cruise. It was basically like home cooking, but plated nicely.
After dinner, Tim and I spent the evening laying on the chairs on the roof looking at the stars. It was still quite warm out but there was a nice refreshing breeze. I really enjoyed our time on the cruise and staring up at the stars from the boat was pretty magical.
We went back to our room and watched some TV that Tim had on his tablet and went to sleep. Tomorrow is going to be our last morning on the boat and then we’ll be heading back to Hanoi for the night.
Steps today: 2,000 (Tim: Again, seems low, likely because we were on a boat).