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Our driver and guide picked us up at the hotel at 7:45 for the 4 hour drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay. It was a long drive but also interesting to see a different part of the country.
The buildings were still tall and narrow but spaced further apart.
The traffic wasn't as heavy as in the city but the drivers were just as crazy. We passed people carrying interesting cargo on their motor bikes and bicycles.This man was carrying live chickens.
A live cow on the back of the bike.
The small buildings are grave sites.
Entrance to a wedding reception.
We stopped half way for restrooms and tea. It turned out it was also a workshop with all types of crafts.
Our favorite was the young people doing embroidery.
Such detailed, back-breaking work. We ended up buying two small pieces with scenes of rice fields and Halong Bay.
Paintings for sale.
Paradise Cruises
We boarded our boat
Dining Area

Our Cabin

Jacuzzi Tub

Fred waits for Lunch

Buffet table of salads
Salmon Entree

Steak Entree


The scenery in Halong Bay is spectacular. Giant limestone rock formations rise up from the bay.
Halong Bay has over 2000 islands made of limestone.
Local fishing boats and fishing villages mingle with the cruise boats.


After lunch we boarded wooden paddle boats for a ride on the bay to two caves. Our rower was a young lady.

You could also choose to kayak around the caves.


When we passed through one cave, we were greeted by a family of golden monkeys swinging from the trees.
We then cruised to another location where there is a large cave called Surprise Cave.
We climbed 100 steps to the first part of the cave which was quite pretty.
But further up was a huge cave - like Carlsbad Caverns. Indeed a surprise and well worth the climb.
View of Halong Bay from the Cave
Back on the boat it was time for happy hour (2 for 1 drinks). We were given these "royal" costumes to wear for the evening.
We were shown a cooking demo on making spring rolls. Originally these were only served to royalty as the common people could not afford all the ingredients.
Dinner was buffet style with a nice variety of food, including some barbecue choices on the deck.


Morning Tai Chi session on the upper deck. Note how few passengers participated (Barb is on the left in blue)

Fred watched.

Our ship.
We cruised to an island with an observation deck on top.
402 steps later, we overlooked Halong Bay. It was worth the climb.


On the way back to Hanoi, we passed fields of rice and other crops with people working in them.


To learn more about our trip around Halong Bay, go to the Halong Bay Newsletter. To view more photo galleries from SE Asia, go to SE Asia Photo Gallery List.

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