We couldn’t imagine going to Vietnam and not making a visit to Ha Long Bay and it certainly didn’t disappoint. There’s a reason Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it’s definitely one that shouldn’t be missed. We cruised for 3 days/2 nights with Indochina Junk aboard the Dragons Pearl and our cruise was absolutely incredible from start to finish. We went to Bai Tu Long Bay which was not crowded at all and part of the reason we chose Indochina Junk was because they have exclusive access to certain areas. Most of the time we didn’t see any other boats and the odd time that we did, it was another one of Indochina Junk’s boats. The food and service on the boat were nothing short of fantastic. We were served 7 or more courses for lunch and dinner, and we were able to try so many different local dishes.
I couldn’t get over how the water was like glass and I can’t remember ever being on the sea when it has been so calm. It was a bit surprising given the weather was overcast with some light mist. Even though we had ‘misty’ weather, the scenery was amazing but we were hoping that it would clear up some for the coming days.
Our first stop was at a beautiful beach that seemed to be exclusive to Indochina Junk so we had the beach to ourselves and because our boat only had 10 cabins there were no crowds of people. The sand was so nice on this beach but apparently they have to haul some of it in because the tide keeps taking it away. While we were here we did some kayaking around the area and soaked in the scenery (literally because it was misting).
Our first night was incredible, we had a very special dinner prepared for us inside a cave…yes in a cave and it was so amazing! The path up to the cave was all lit with little lights and once we entered the cave we were rewarded with a candlelit path, beautiful candlelit tables, flower petals everywhere, and a delicious seafood dinner. I think our meal comprised of at least 7 courses followed by dessert. I couldn’t believe they could prepare such a beautiful dinner inside a cave. This definitely was a highlight for us and something we will never forget!
On our way down from the cave we noticed how beautiful the night sky was and we could see our boat in the distance. Thankfully the weather was improving.
The next morning we were up early and anxious to see what the weather was going to be like. It was still a bit overcast but the morning colours were beautiful. There was a ring of mist around the bottom of the limestone mountains that just added to the already gorgeous landscape.
After breakfast we headed out for a long kayak excursion, it was a beautiful morning. I could go on and on about the scenery here but it really is something to experience with your own eyes.
While kayaking we saw the biggest jelly fish EVER…I never knew they could be so huge which is probably a good thing or I would never go in the water!
In the afternoon we visited a small floating fishing village and pearl farm. Only a few years ago this village was much larger and soon there likely won’t be a village anymore. The people are moving away in search of making a better living in the cities.
Back on the boat we had a cooking demonstration from the chef – we made springrolls and then we enjoyed them at dinner.
The chef carved this amazing replica of the Dragons Pearl out of melons, he’s talented!
Sitting on the deck, sailing through the emerald waters admiring the towering limestone cliffs, we were in awe of the beauty here.
Another beautiful day comes to an end in Ha Long Bay.
Even though we are just beginning our travels in Vietnam, we already know that Ha Long Bay will be a highlight of our time in this beautiful country.
Our junk boat: Dragons Pearl – Indochina Junk
Written by: Tammy Hermann…Live~Love~Travel