Ha Long Bay to HanoiOctober 13, 2015 in Vietnam ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C
We woke to the steady thump of a small boat's engine as it motored past our own. The bay is not just for tourists, it is also home to small communities who live in floating houses to fish the waters or sell drinks and snack food to the passing tourists.
A cotton wool sky remained to deny a fiery sunrise but it did not deter us from the sun deck, where we took a Tai Chi lesson with one of the crew before breakfast.
We travelled to Luon Cave, where we left the boat and paddled a 2-man kayak into its dark mouth. The sound of paddles scrapping against fibreglass hulls and human voices echoed under the stalactite ceiling. Darkness began to wrap itself around us but before it had a chance to cover us completely we exited into the bright light of a hidden cove.
We quickly realised the cave was the only entrance into the cove, where sheer limestone walls towered around us. We shrank in scale to the scenery before us and despite the presence of other tourists we felt as if we had entered a hidden world. Circling the edge of the livid water pool we absorbed the views before rhythmically powering ourselves back under the cave and to the boat.
Returning to Ha Long harbour, we past through channels of shadow-casting rock that towered over us and the local fishing vessels. The undulating spines and swirling faces of the limestone catching our eyes as they past by our window.
Once on land we took the road back to Hanoi, where the bustling capital welcomed us with a cacophony of noise, which was in sharp contrast to the calm of the bay.Read more