2019, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Vietnam Day 16: Ha Long Bay Sunday October 16, 2019

I think this is as good a time as ever to mention that the A/C in hotels in Vietnam is totally insane. Each room has its own, just like here, only the temperature on the A/C appears to have no relation to the temperature in the room. (This was particularly true in the first hotel when it listed a temperature even though it was off and it took us a few nights to figure it out.) Nowhere was the discrepancy between the temperature on the A/C and the actual temperature in the room more pronounced than on our cruise. We had the thing set to 29C at once point, but that proved too warm, so we reduced it to 27C for the night. At that point it was cold but bearable.

We were up early due to the breakfast announcement. Breakfast was a buffet and not quite up to the standard of lunch and dinner but still pretty tasty.

After breakfast, everyone else got ready to go to the floating village. The way this works is that the cruises sell packages of one or two nights (and maybe some do more). The first day is the same but those who stay two nights have a different second day than those to stay one night. That’s why there were 14 people when we got on the boat but 21 people for dinner. In our case we were the only people staying two nights for these particular nights, so everyone else set out and we had the boat virtually to ourselves.

Enjoying the top deck of the boat in the morning

After they finished at the floating village the boat sailed to another location where we were picked up by a smaller boat for our separate itinerary. It was packed.

Just two of us on the boat

We headed towards some more tightly clustered islands.

Islands in the bay

In order to proceed we had to go to a floating permit office.

Floating permit office

A few turns later and we met our kayaks. We kayaked around a couple of islands until we arrived at a beach. There were only a couple other people there.

Our kayaks on the beach

The water was like a bathtub and the scenery was spectacular. After swimming around a bunch and finding it was basically impossible to climb up on the rocks (because they are sharp and jagged, unlike our shield rocks), I eventually found somewhere to sit and we basically just sat in the water for a while once we got tired of swimming. I have swum at the odd spectacular beach in my life, and this was right up there.

After we left the beach, we kayaked to a cave where peopled to tie up their boats to hide from storms. And then we kayaked back to the boat.

On the boat we had a BBQ lunch with some absolutely excellent squid, some great shrimp and yet more fish, among other food. (As usual, there was way too much.)

The day boat took us back to the main boat where we joined the new people on the cruise. We had a drink and then we went to our room to relax.

A while later, we went up to the “sunset party” where we indulged their weird happy hour and had some okay cocktails. (They might have been good cocktails.)

For dinner we had a different dinner than the first night, known was “Second Dinner”. We noticed a few people having it the night before. We liked it a lot but maybe not as much as the first dinner. The couple next to us saw our dessert and the woman asked to have our dessert instead, apparently not quite understanding what was going on.

We went upstairs after dinner only to realize there was a birthday cake. We could hear the singing below. Nobody had let us know as we went upstairs. However, we were both full and quite content to have the top deck to ourselves once again.

I tried squid fishing again and this time Jenn joined me. We had no success as usual.

Once again, we went to sleep very early.

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