Friends! I hope you’re liking my new blog design. It was time for a change. I added a travel category in the sidebar for quick access to all of our wanderings. If you haven’t had a chance to look through the photos of our day in Hanoi, take a minute and check them out right here.
When I first decided that I wanted to go to Vietnam, Halong Bay was at the top of my must-see list. Images of thousands of limestone rocks reaching out of the calm waters captivated my attention and I just had to see if for myself. We debated booking our 3 days cruise once we arrived Vietnam but after finding out that 3 of our preferred boats were already fully booked over a month out (eek!) we went ahead and booked our 3 day cruise with A Class Opera online.
We were a bit nervous about the whole experience. Would it live up to our expectations? Would the boat be clean and safe? Would the company we booked with even show up and get us there? Thankfully, all of those worries were quickly diminished when Best Price Vietnam (the company we booked through) walked us through the whole process at our hotel the night before. The next morning they arrived at our hotel in a nice, clean van to whisk us and the other passangers off to the bay.
It was SUCH a great trip.
The boat was small but charming and clean. As it was November and a cooler time of the year (they kept talking about how it was wintertime in Vietnam but our daytime temps were around a pleasant 75) our boat was less than half full with about 12 cruisers plus staff. The bay itself was stunning, charming and just as captivating as all of the pictures. The food? A FEAST! All the meals were served family style and had about 7 courses, most of which were fresh seafood and almost everything was delicious. Breakfast always included a steaming bowl of pho that was just perfect. And every day was spent following a pretty detailed itinerary of exploring, kayaking, eating and relaxing that made for the perfect bay experience.
If you go to Halong Bay, do yourself a favor and choose the 3 day/2 night cruise option! Seriously friends! Most people only cruise for one night which gives you just a hint of the bay but leaves out our favorite day which we’ll get to later.
Today’s pictures are from the first day of the cruise. After a 4 hour drive from Hanoi, we boarded our little boat and ate lunch before visiting a small beach and then kayaking around the last floating village in the bay. We didn’t have a lot of time to explore since November days are short and the sun was rapidly descending below the horizon, but seeing as we were both still getting over jetlag, an early evening in was perfect for us! The fishing village was so colorful and interesting. I can’t imagine living on the water like that. Kayaking was followed by another amazing meal, after which J and I literally fell asleep fully dressed on our beds with the lights on. Ha! Jet lag for the win!
Stayed at: A Class Opera cruise; beds were rock hard but the boat was very nice
Best food: Just about everything! Especially loved the Vietnamese egg rolls
Highlight: kayaking around the floating village at sunset
Low: jet lag (again!)