Ha Long Bay is on the northeast coast of Vietnam and has been designated a Unesco Heritage Site. It is a large bay teeming with massive limestone formations and is a strikingly beautiful place to cruise on a junk boat.
We did a two night cruise with Paradise Luxury Cruises , which I whole-heartedly recommend. Top notch service from start to finish, a tastefully decorated boat and excellent food. They sent a luxury van to collect us from our hotel in Hanoi and it was a four hour drive with a rest stop on the way.
Once boarded we were shown to see our front facing cabin with a terrace . It was pretty darn fabulous.
Lunch was served and then we went kayaking. We had a blast and made some new cruise friends, two crazy English girls.
Next we visited the Hang Sung Sot which means “surprise cave”. This was entertaining. Apparently the surprise is the fresh water pools inside, not as I thought, the presence of weird phallic shaped rock. I enjoyed the girlish slightly guilty chuckle about this from the guide.
I LOVED this terrace and read for hours. I never get to relax quite like this!
Later that evening we went to happy hour and watched a cooking demonstration. We were given traditional clothing in which to dress for dinner. Quite amusing!
We opted to skip the 6 am Tai Chi on the deck but enjoyed a surreal sunrise and made it to the delicious breakfast brunch.
We went out for the day on the cruise’s smaller day boat, which was every bit as well appointed.
After a tiny little five course lunch. we went out on the water via rowboat to explore a floating fishing village.
Later we visited an island beach for swimming and then headed back to the main boat.
After dinner we had massages in the spa, then spent another lovely night lulled to sleep by the soft waves.
We disembarked and said goodbye to our adorable butler Nam. While waiting for the bus to take us back to Hanoi we relaxed at the beautiful Paradise Luxury Hotel and had more amazing food. Did I mention we were really well fed???
We arrived back at the Essence Hotel Hanoi and collected our baggage that the hotel had so kindly stored for us. We changed. repacked and once again stored our bigger luggage. After a delicious dinner at the hotel, we caught the overnight train to Sapa for our three day trekking trip which was out of this world!
Read More: Trekking in Sapa