HẠ LONG BAY DIARY

24.2.17


If you have been following @edendefleur on Instagram, then you already know from the numerous posts that my love and I traveled to Vietnam earlier this month. We went for 10 days and made a few stops through Vietnam including Ho Chi Minh,  Hanoi and of course the truly inspiring, hauntingly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hạ Long Bay.

Hạ Long Bay is definitely a place you should add to your travel bucket list. There is a certain magic in its beautiful waters and 1600+ islands. Yes, it is a very touristy thing to do  but the beauty of the bay is exactly what attracts millions of tourists every year. For this one night, two day voyage - we decided to go with La Fairy Sails - A stylish junk boat with beautiful wooden cabins and friendly crew. The weather in February is on the cooler side of about 18°C - 22°C as it is Winter in Vietnam but I found that it was still perfect weather to go hiking and kayaking.

DAY 1
We were picked up in the morning from our stay in Hanoi for a 4 hour drive down to Hạ Long Bay with a 30 minute break in between. Arriving at the Tuan Chau International Harbour we checked-in to embark on La Fairy Sails and enjoyed a welcome drink and met our tour guide Tony who introduced himself and briefed us all of our itinerary. Around 1pm, a lovely lunch was served while we cruised through the bay. We arrived at Mê Cung Cave where we went through the beautiful cave then a short hike up to the top to enjoy the beautiful scenery and we also visited a pearl farm after. Around 5pm we returned to La Fairy Sails to relax and enjoy the beautiful sunset and at 7pm we had a lovely dinner on top deck under the stars. There was also a traditional music performance and amazing fruit/vegetable carvings. We slept so well on the cruise, it was so quiet and peaceful compared to the usual hustle and bustle in the city.

DAY 2
"It is the most surreal feeling when you wake up and look out the window - the light reflects off the water into your eyes and you slowly look up at the the beautiful lush limestone island in front of you and realise where you are - THAT is one of the most incredible moments I've ever experienced."

After our 7am breakfast, we hiked up Ti Top Island for another panoramic view of the bay then back down for a dip on the beach. After, we stopped by a floating pontoon and went kayaking through the bay which was beautiful. While cruising back to the harbour, we enjoyed our last buffet lunch with a cooking demonstration and took our last scenic photos. It was such a bittersweet moment as the trip ended and before we knew it, we were heading back to Hanoi.

GENERAL TIPS
What to bring - Bring a jacket if you're traveling around November to April as it is Winter/Spring there. Essentials - Hat, swimwear, sunglasses, a pair of sandals and sport shoes (We hiked up the island in sandals so only if you need them), two outfits and sleepwear. Beauty - sun cream, insect repellent and lip balm. A camera is also essential to capture the beautiful scenic moments.

Hạ Long Bay, you were truly incredible.

love,
e

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