I just arrived at the hotel from my overnight cruise trip to Ha Long Bay. Of course, the place did not disappoint. Hundreds of islets stretch as far as the eyes can see. The rocks/islets look ethereal as they rise from the water like an army of rocks surrounding you.
Gazilions of ships, of various sizes and shapes, ply the waters of the enormous bay, ferrying tourists around the tall karst cliffs and islets that dot the area. Yesterday was overcast and definitely cold. But that did not stop me from enjoying the view from the top of the boat, which I shared with 13 other tourists.
We stopped by the humongous Surprise Cave; went kayaking and paddled my self under a partially-submerged cave; and swam in the freezing water. Thanks to the limited power of my camera battery, I have no pictures of these activities. Ugh.
I was assigned a room in the boat, which was surprisingly cozy, and with a tiny bathroom to boot. The facilities of the boat were quite all right, all these for only $39. The food was awful though.
In the evening, we were marooned in a small bay surrounded by majestic cliffs, with the other tourist boats floating nearby (and I mean there were more than two dozens junks all around). I swapped travel stories with the other tourists while we sipped beer. Because there was nothing much to do, I went to bed early, making sure that the window was open. In the course of the evening, the view from the window shifted as the changing tide continuously rotated boat.