Monday, March 2, 2009

Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island

A little east of Hanoi is UNESCO World Heritage Site and new seven world wonders contender, Ha Long Bay. After exploring Hanoi, I took a three day/two night tour to the area which included one night on a junk boat, a smallish-cruise ship about four stories tall, with about 35 other travelers from all over the world.

My on board roommate, from Malaysia, and I in front of some of the island formations on the bay.

We went kayaking around some rock formations, like this one, and explored some caves and very peaceful areas.

Then, we went swimming off the side of the boat. It was a little scary to jump from three stories up, but the water was definitely worth it.

The next morning, most people returned to Hanoi, while the 10 of us who wanted one more day in this paradise stayed in a hotel on the largest island in the chain, Cat Ba. At the center of the island is a huge nature preserve and park. We went on a short, but very steep hike up to this scary-looking rusty, old, metal tower that was missing some steps and part of the roof.

But of course, I still had to climb up to the top of it. Here I am looking down at the less-brave hikers relaxing at the base of the tower.

The view was definitely worth it!

During this part of my trip, I was pretty social as there wasn't much to do but relax and chat with people on the boat and the island. However, the scenery was spectacular, the kayaking and hiking fun, and the company pretty decent, so it was a great side trip, even if I didn't learn all that much about Vietnam hanging out with Germans, Danes, Australians, and various others.

You should definitely check out the other photographs in the album:

Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island

1 comment:

  1. I have to say, I like heights, I was an electrician monkey for ever and ever. But rickety tall structures in foreign countries sound terrifying. Good for you! I don't know that I could've done it!





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