8am pickup for 2hr drive to Halong Bay for our 2night cruise in a pretty luxurious Mercedes van. Got to the harbour to see hundreds of boats of all sizes & comfort. We're on Bhaya Classic 4 with total of 30 people (23crew). Nice 2 storey with top deck.
Immediately amongst the magnificent scenery of the bay.
After a huge buffet lunch , stopped at Surprise Cave. Lots of steps to view a few different caverns filled with magnificent formations.
View from the cave
Then onto a floating village where local fishermen & their families live constantly on their boats. If the family have money, they send their kids to school on the mainland, otherwise the kids are not educated, and grow up on the floating village, along with pet dogs & cats.
Cooking class on the top deck, watched the sunset before another fantastic 5 course dinner
Up at 6am for Tai Chi on the top deck (Jean & Lyn only).
After breakfast, a 1hour boat trip on the 'day boat' to an area where we kayaked through caves in the rocks & visited some fishing boats. Back onto the day boat for a huge lunch, then we visited a pearl farm to watch the process of culturing pearls. Jean finally got her 30th anniversary pearls! (Ear rings). Lyn too, indulged with a ring.
Back to the 'mother' boat for afternoon rest.
Played cards with our new Canadian friends (Mary Lyn & Brian), then were taken to a smaller cave (Tien Ong) by boat.
Back for Happy Hour, more cards, dinner, then cards again!
Jean wakes with gastro, so down & out for the day! Craig goes to another island to climb the 400 steps to the top. Lyn relaxes on board.
View from top of mountain
Brunch for most, then travel back to harbour & 2 hour bus ride back to Hanoi.
Went for a small walk to visit 'Hotel Hanoi' ( prison where Americans were incaecerated during war).
Jean piked out & went back to hotel to sleep. Others out for last dinner in Vietnam!