This is a continuation from Day 1 post. (https://vickychong.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/vietnam-cruise-at-halong-bay-day-1/)
My husband, Mike, woke up early hoping to catch sunrise at Halong Bay. Unfortunately, the sky was cloudy and dawn descended without any sighting of the sun. So at 6.30am, he decided to join the rest of the early risers for 30 minutes of Tai chi at the upper deck. By then, I had awoken and decided to watch the group as they moved in unison with the staff conducting the class. Across the sea, other cruises were also conducting their own Tai chi classes.
After the class dismissed, sails were put up, more for the romance and novelty than real use. Similar sails were simultaneously seen on other ships in copy cat actions. I am guessing that regardless of the ship you are booked in, your itinerary and timetable would be exactly the same as ours.
After breakfast, we were taken by bum boat to another smaller vessel for an excursion around Halong Bay, only for those who had booked the three-day tour. First stop, a pearl farm. Strings 0f oysters dangled in the seawater below as we walked along the boardwalk above. There was an exhibition room showcasing shells and a workshop where some workers were seeding the oysters. Outside, a woman showed us how pearl is extracted. Then it’s to the showroom where we were urged to purchase.
After the farm tour, it’s fun time. We were taken to a secluded area for kayaking. The group who was leaving today would also be kayaking but at a crowded area. We were one of two groups in this area today. The kayaks were twin-seater and my son paired with the guide, who took us through a gap of narrow tunnel into a pool surrounded by granite rocks and forest. We spotted monkeys and a Loris and many birds. It was indeed paradise – granite peaks surrounding aquamarine pool.
After the ‘exercise’, we went back on board for lunch. Then we it’s to another secluded beach for swimming and more kayaking. You notice now I keep using the word secluded because it is a rare and precious adjective to describe Halong Bay. Being a world UNESCO Heritage Site has this problem of crowd and it’s a bliss to escape away from them.
Mike and Aaron decided to kayak to the beach while I took a nap on a bench on board. The others went swimming and diving from the boat we were on. It was a leisurely afternoon spent and I highly recommend spending at least three-day at Halong Bay to enjoy this.
We left the place at dusk to return to the mother ship for dinner and some social time. A new group had arrived, this time comprising a group of young Singaporeans on a two-day tour, the most common tour offered.
Tomorrow, there would be spring roll making class and more kayaking, and then it’s back to Hanoi after lunch.