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Halong Bay Junk Boat cruise: Day 2


Hundreds of karst mountains jutting out of the ocean creating a fantastic seascape? I'm there! There's actually similar formations in Thailand & Philippines. But each place still offers a unique experience. Even if you have seen similar scenery, its still worth it to go venture out & experience the attraction's local flavor. After breakfast, I bid farewell to a few of my tourmates & hopped on to a smaller boat picking me up for more island hopping fun.




Highlights: Kayaking around Lan Ha bay was very nice!
Cast of Characters: 'Dugong Sail' junk boat went back to town to drop off all the other fellow travelers who were only doing a 2 day trip. I joined a new group on the smaller boat for the day tour. There's only about 6 of us. They were all from Australia. After the day's activities, we ended up being dropped off to our junk boats again.
It feels kind of weird to have all these people coming & going. There's a whole new set of travelers on the junk boat. Most of them were from Australia again! Its funny because the folks from the day tour were complaining about how they signed up for a party boat, but their fellow passengers were all retirees! That night I learned they should've gotten onto my boat, because the new tourists definitely brought the party with them! They turned up the music & danced the floorboards away. I swear I thought the ceiling was gonna collapse on me. I think we were the only loud boat in the whole bay. It was all good though. Most of my new fellow tourists are also just doing a 2 day tour.
Logistics/ Links: here's a link to a site with the boat info. Link to first & third day of the cruise.
When: The weather on the 2nd day was pretty similar to the first one Skies were overcast, gray & cloudy. It was a bit foggy at some parts. Made the place look eerily mysterious.
Location: We sailed towards Lan Ha bay. Unlike the first day, Lan Ha area is much less crowded. There's only a few other smaller boats in the area. Our guide initially said there was gonna be some hiking & kayaking. I think they forgot about the hiking part because we just kayaked around the area & that was pretty much all we did for the 2nd day. Oh no wait, we went to a pearl farm too. Its interesting because the brochures always seem to have a whole list of activities & sights, but when you're actually there it seems like you really only do 1 or 2 activities for the whole day. 
Cost: $100 for the 3d/2n tour. Includes everything except for drinks & tips.
Trip Report: It was great waking up to see the beautiful scenery from the deck of the junk boat. No sunrise or sunset, but still beautiful. I got up early & went to the deck. Beyond the mist, I saw a massive cruise ship silently float by. It was as big as that mountain below on the first picture. It was pretty fast too. 

We had some breakfast. The food is always nice. My day tour boat was already waiting for me. So I got my bag, bid farewell to some folks & hurried out. We picked up a few more people then headed for Lan Ha Bay. Lan Ha Bay is definitely a much better kayaking experience compared to the first day. I was a bit disappointed because we did not really do enough activities to fill the day. After our kayaking & lunch, we mostly just hung out on the boat. The boat crew was just sleeping. Our guide was off trying to find more oysters to cook or something. We got bored. When we finally left, I got to the junk boat way too early & just ended up reading a book while waiting for the new set of tourists to come back from their activities. Oh well. It was fine.

Good morning Halong Bay!

Woke up early hoping to catch sunrise...yeeaaa, no.

Beautiful Halong Bay

Our day tour captain navigating the ship. Lol

Nice little day tour boat

Sooo awesome!!!

Oyster farm at Lan Ha Bay. The water was very very shallow at low tide. Our kayak kept hitting the stuff underneath

That's our guide for the day. It was sooo funny because one of the tourists was a bigger fellow. There's 6 of us, so 2 tourists per kayak. Our guide said to me (in front of everyone)- you can team up with me because that guy is FAT! He just said it so bluntly & repeated it over & over. It's so funny because in Asian cultures this is pretty normal. I know in the Philippines people greet each other with - "Oh my god you gained so much weight!" or something like that. But they were mostly westerners where things like these are treated a bit more tactfully, so it was hilarious.

Onto the cave!

Awesome!!! There's another group of tourists in the lagoon so it felt like we had the place to ourselves. Sooo awesome!
I guess at higher tides you can kayak into that little cave. Our guide was trying to but the water was too shallow. Might have been better to do it on foot. 

Beautiful! There were lots of beautiful corals. Since I was with my guide (he did most of the kayaking- heehee), we pretty much went to where he wanted to go. We ended up probably destroying half of the corals in the lagoon. He wanted me to see them, which meant being right on top of 'em. The water was pretty low so I could hear our kayak just scraping off & destroying them. Ugh. That was not very pleasant.I tried to tell him to kayak a bit further, but nope.
Day tour food was pretty good.

Seeding seashells for pearls.

Ooooh! Beautiful! One of the guides asked the tourist to poke around & see if there was a pearl. She poked & prodded & didn't feel anything. The guide sliced a part of the membrane & out popped this pearl

Pearl farm

Cruising at Halong Bay

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