Dazzling Halong Bay
Andrew and I took a 4 hour shuttle bus to Halong Bay. We had a 1 night Junk cruise booked. A junk boat is what the cruise ships are called at Halong Bay. They are not junky at all. The day before we departed, we received an email letting us know that we had been upgraded to a more luxury cruise than the one we originally paid for. I didn’t believe it until a very nice shuttle van picked us up from Hanoi.
We arrived at the Halong harbor with throngs of other tourists waiting to embark on their overnight cruises. Our boat was called “Dragon Legend.” This was my first time on a cruise so I was little nervous about getting seasick. I can now say that the entire boat ride was very smooth and I do not get seasick!
It was such a beautiful experience. Halong Bay is filled with massive limestone rocks that jet out from the water like icebergs. A junk cruise is the best way to get up close to them. We sailed through the rocks during sunset. I was stunned by the natural beauty. The water was quite busy with lots of other junk cruises and fishermen boats around. You will also notice lots of trash in the water. This particularly alarmed because Halong Bay is a world heritage site. The staff even talked about it at times. They even offered free beer to anyone who brought back a piece of trash after kayaking. I am not sure if the trash is from the fishermen or the junk cruises but it is definitely an issue that needs a solution fast. Halong Bay is way too gorgeous to be littered with water bottles and paper products.
The crew on board was wonderful! They made sure to remember our food allergies whenever food was being served. It was great to meet other tourists from all over the world. We spoke to people from Australia, Spain, England and even Argentina. You can also kayak, swim and explore a nearby cave. A junk cruise when visiting Halong Bay is a must. I think it is the best way to get up close to the magnificent rock formations jetting out from the water.