Halong Bay day

No trip to Hanoi is complete without visiting the fabulous natural beauty of Halong Bay. Kevin had pre-booked this trip and it started with a 2.5 hour transfer in a luxury minivan

The seats reclined and had massage options! Bernice is using hers in this picture!!!

The boat trip took 8 hours and we traveled between the limestone karsts admiring the scenery.

There are around 1600 limestone islands and islets which make up the Bay. Some of the formations are more than 20 million years old like this blow hole.

Only half of them have names. We visited Three Peaches but others were called Thumb, Toad or Amazing Cave!!!

According to legend the Bay was formed when the gods sent down dragons to protect the Vietnamese from invaders. These dragons dropped jewels from their mouths into the Bay, creating the islands as a barrier against invading ships. Instead of returning to the heavens the dragons plunged into the waters and remain there.

Some filming for Bond’s ‘Tomorrow never dies’ took place here.

After a sumptuous lunch we took a bamboo boat into the cave of dark & night with beautiful stalagtites.

And monkeys

Bernice was only a little bit terrified

(Of the boat not the monkeys) But our lady rower did a great job and kept us safe

The afternoon saw us having an on board cookery class where we made our own spring rolls. This was great fun as we made the men have a go. Unfortunately our rolls had to be re-rolled by the chef before frying! But they tasted delicious.

Final stop at a floating fishing village to see the traditional way of life. Here they kept fish farms with some ginormous fish for days when the water was too rough to set sail. They kept dogs to protect the farms from thieves.

It wasn’t glorious sunshine but the day was truly beautiful.

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