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I will start off by saying that Hạ Long Bay is utterly amazing!  It has picturesque waterways, out of this world scenery and, I loved it.

Hạ Long Bay, in northeast Vietnam, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is known for its emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands topped by rain-forests.

We were picked up early from our hotel in Hanoi and we drove for 4 hours up to Hạ Long City on the bay. After we arrived at the bay we took a tender boat out to our boat “Majestic.”

While motoring up the centre of Hạ Long bay on our Majestic, we were served an amazing seafood lunch which consisted of 7 courses of delicious foods. We soon learned that all meals in Vietnam ended with platters of fresh seasonal fruit.  How very civilised!!  The food was outstanding. There was always so much of it and always beautifully decorated.

After lunch we “checked” in to our cabins which were a lovely surprise as they were nicer than I had expected, with comfortable beds, en-suite bathroom, air conditioner and power points to charge batteries etc. Also, there was WIFI on board.

After this we took our tender boat to Ti Top Island to spend a couple of very pleasant hours. Ti Top Island is regarded as one of the most attractive sites for tourists to Hạ Long Bay.  It is especially famous for its clean water and smooth white sand beach and magnificent views from the top.

 

The bay itself was breathtaking and even though there were many boats around we didn’t feel they were intrusive. It is the most boats I have ever experienced in one area.

On the way back to our boat, several of our group chose to go kayaking in the bay so we dropped them off at the kayaks.  When we arrived back to our boat, it was late afternoon, where we spent time up on the top deck enjoying fresh fruits and cocktails. As evening set in; the boats in the bay turned on their lights and music, turning the bay into a magical fairy-land.

After, our evening interlude on top deck we enjoyed another amazing meal. We were very impressed with the selection of international wines that were available on board considering this was a small boat with only 10 cabins.

There were plenty of activities on board including a cooking class in the dining room.

We started our next morning early up on the top deck doing half an hour of Tai Chi.  We did not know what we were doing but followed the lead as well as we could and loved it – what a fabulous way to start a beautiful day in an exquisite place.

Directly after breakfast, while it was still early, we took our tender boat to Sung Sot Cave. There were many steps up to the cave and then there was the magnificent view of Hạ Long Bay. This deserves its own story.

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View From Sung Sot Cave

Then as we cruised back to Hạ Long city we enjoyed another fantastic lunch on board our home of 2 days.

Our tour guide, Mr Mau was so helpful, gentle and enthusiastic in his job. We really appreciated him as he helped us to have an unforgettable time

Hạ Long Bay was my high-light of Hanoi and one of my high-lights of Vietnam.

 

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