A photo montage highlighting my favorite memories from past travels!
I was really shocked to discover that I hadn’t posted anything from my Halong Bay junk trip on the blog so I decided to feature some of my favorite photos from my two days cruising among the beautiful bay for your viewing pleasure this Montage Monday. Hope you enjoy!
Our arrival into Halong Bay was complete and utter chaos. There were so many tourists shuffling about and tour guides leading large groups this way and that. The Bay was chocked with little smoke-puttering boats waiting to chauffeur passengers further out onto their reserved junks. A thick haze of smog filled the air and I silently prayed that the next two days wasn’t going to be as hectic as this first impression. Luckily, as soon as Matt and I boarded our junk along with a handful of other travelers, we sailed out into calmer and clearer seas.
We were pretty lucky with the weather during our two days of sailing in Halong Bay. The sky was slightly overcast so it wasn’t too hot to sit out on the top deck of the boat, but it never grew too gray or rained on us. Hooray!
It was really nice just cruising along Halong Bay, enjoying the cool breeze and the stunning scenery all around us! It was just the peaceful setting we needed after a few hectic days in Hanoi.
One of our last group activities on board the junk was a kayak excursion out in Halong Bay. Matt and I were really looking forward to this but we were disappointed to find out that “exploring the hidden cave” had taken up most of the time we had in the afternoon and our allotted time for kayaking was reduced to 30 minutes. We were further disappointed to find trash in the form of beer bottles, plastic bags and candy wrappers floating around. Matt and I spent most of our 30 minutes in the kayak collecting debris from the water. It was a shame to see such a beautiful setting carelessly littered.
One of my least favorite aspects of traveling with a tour group is the generic, predetermined itinerary that they have for you… and everybody else! One of the major “highlights” of the two days aboard the junk was exploring a cave “hidden” deep in Halong Bay. I can’t really say that it was a well hidden cave since just about every junk seemed to have made a stop there.
Halong Bay is undoubtedly one of the more breath-taking settings I have found myself lucky to encounter. Cruising aboard a junk was also another great experience and although I usually don’t recommend joining group tours that may limit you in terms of time and activities, I honestly don’t know how one could work around an arranged tour of Halong Bay. Besides, most people come to see the natural wonder that is Halong Bay and you still get that and more with a organized tour. My only advice would is to pick up whatever trash you may encounter on the water so that future visitors can enjoy the beauty of Halong Bay too.
What’s YOUR take on Halong Bay? Have YOU been? Is it a top travel destination?
© Connie Hum 2011