It was a rainy cold morning as we started our 200km drive to Ha Long Bay. All the locals were rugged up and looking pretty unhappy with the miserable weather as they rode on their scooters and motor cycles as they went about their work on this cold Monday morning.
Along the way we visited a pearl business where they showed us the process for producing cultures pearls.
After checking in at ther wharf we boarded a small boat to transfer to the Ginger Cruise. This was about a 15 minute trip across the bay as the cruise boat is too large to bring to the wharf.
It was a little unsettling to have life jackets sitting out ready on the chairs. But when they asked use to put them on they explained it was because of government regulations for the size of boat in open water.
Our vessel was the Halong Ginger which is a wooden junk and lives up to the promised combination of classic beauty with modern comfort. The boat was amazing providing so much luxury. Vu and I shared a twin room and we had a beautiful balcony with views from the beds.
Lunch was amazing with fresh seafood including my favourite scallops.
There was an option boat ride to go on an adventure to a local village via an electric cart or cycle. After a busy 10 days with lots of walking Vu and I opted for relaxing on the boat while everyone else left for an adventure. I took the chance to take photos of the beautiful scenery.
The bay was very peaceful except for an occasional motor boat and the party boat near by who were having a great old time singing and yahooing.
Unfortunately the sky was overcast so the photos do not have the bright blue water and sky like in the tourist information. Never the less the place is truly amazing and unique.
In addition to the magnificent limestone islands there are tiny fishing houses floating in the bay. Some of the people live their whole lives on the water never setting foot on land.
After the afternoon adventure the next activity was a cooking demonstration with a Vietnamese chef demonstrating cooking techniques.
Dinner followed which again including fresh seafood cooked Vietnamese style. You could choose from some western style options, vegetarian or steak if you preferred.
To finish off the evening in style we booked a massage in the on board spa. It was the perfect way to end a fabulous day.