Vietnam #1: It’s a Long Ass Flight to Vietnam
Vietnam #2: The Best Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam #3: A Lesson in History and Propaganda
Vietnam #4: The Streets of HCMC
Vietnam #5: Is the Mekong Delta Worth It?
Vietnam #6: My First Overseas Doctor Visit
Vietnam #7: Welcome to Central Vietnam
Vietnam #8: Two-Wheeling in Vietnam
Vietnam #9: Don’t Skip Hoi An
Vietnam #10: A Hot Day in Hue
Vietnam #11: Exploring Hanoi
Vietnam #12: Hanoi Hilton
Vietnam #13: The Best View in Hanoi
Vietnam #14: Sheraton Hanoi Hotel
I knew Ha Long Bay was going to be pretty. But I did not expect it to take my breath away. And I did not expect the expression “take my breath away” to be quite so literal.
I now know why Ha Long Bay is a “must see” on all the traveling lists. It is beautiful in a way you can’t fully appreciate until you see it with your own eyes. So if you’re looking for a reason to go to Vietnam – here it is. Ha Long Bay. Don’t skip it. It is amazing, and I readily acknowledge that “amazing” doesn’t do it justice.
We were lucky. After a couple of days of rain, we woke up Sunday morning to sunny blue skies and 70 degree weather. We also chose our cruise company (more on that later) specifically because it took us to an isolated part of the bay, far away from the traffic jam of tourist cruises you so often see in pictures. This meant we had the unique karsts all to ourselves.
Warning: There is an absurd amount of pictures below. It is not my fault. I plead temporary insanity on account of the natural beauty.
We spent some time sitting on the deck and doing absolutely nothing. Just basking in the afternoon sun and screeching with glee.
And then we took – you guessed it – more pictures.
I even took a video.
A Taste of Ha Long Bay from Nam Writes on Vimeo.
In the afternoon, we took out the kayaks for a a tour around the bay. It took Lisa and I a while to develop a rhythm, but soon, we were speeding along. Ha Long Bay is definitely the most beautiful place I’ve ever kayaked.
I’m fairly certain we look like Olympic kayakers here.
I think the technical term for this pose is called “killing it.”
As the sun set into the water, the ship anchored for the night, and we enjoyed the colorful sky.
The next morning we woke up at the crack of dawn – literally – to watch the sunrise. After shivering for a bit, the cold morning gave way to the warmth of the sun.
After breakfast, we hopped over to a nearby island to visit an underground cave and relax on the beach.
Lisa and I on the passenger boat en route to the island
We spent fifteen minutes exploring the cave.
And then enjoyed some beautiful views while we dipped our toes in the sand.
Our cruise ship anchored in the distance.
Lisa is never happier than she is on/in the water.
After that, it was time to head back to the mainland. Lisa and I were exhausted and headed straight for the airport for our flight home. But what a way to end our Vietnam trip. If you need a reason to go to Vietnam, it doesn’t get better than Ha Long Bay.