Halong was so beautiful! Around 2000 limestone islets are based in a pretty small area and it really took my breath away. Even though the weather was cloudy and cold, it was overwhelming to see these hundreds of islands rising up from the water and seeing them up close from a boat was really something special.
I did the Halong Bay Boat Tour. It was something I felt I had to do after coming all the way to this wonderful place. It was, for sure, the most touristy thing I have done on my travels so far. Usually, I try to avoid overcrowded places (at least when I’m outside a big city) because they tend to be expensive and it spoils the magic of a place when you can’t even move because of the other tourists around.
However, on that day, high season was over and as I told you, the weather was cloudy and pretty cold actually. I thought this boat trip is a must for any to do-list in this part of the world but I would be lying if I said I really enjoyed the trip. I mean, I met some nice people on the boat and took some amazing photos. BUT if you don’t want to be surrounded by other tourists while travelling, I honestly would not recommend to do this boat tour. If I had done this in high-season, I think I would have collapsed!
After the Halong Bay Boat Trip experience, I met this little kid on one island. He was so cute and polite when he asked me for a photo with me. Immediately after we took the photo, he ran quickly back to his father with a “yes”, “yes”, “yes”. I am really starting to enjoy moments instead of things. That’s what life is supposed to be. Being happy, living, loving, sharing and enjoying!
The next day, I rented a motorbike to explore Cat Bá island. I rode across the whole island which was beautiful because I love to explore new places by myself. There were not many people living there and visiting this island anyway. However, this amazing motorbike tour didn’t last long… When I came to a small town (probably the only one of the island), someone followed me and forced me to stop. When I stopped, he said the motorbike belongs to him. I replied: “No, I rented it, it can’t be yours!” I mean anyone can say this is mine so I didn’t trust him and wanted to move on. Suddenly, he became serious, he took the keys off me and called the police. Slowly I realized it really might be his…
To sum up this “adventure”: They rented me a stolen motorbike and the real owner recognized the bike. That means at the end I was kind of stuck at the island but I found a nice Vietnamese man who took me to the ferry station and even showed me the Cat Bá National Park. Sometimes you find such friendly human beings while travelling. To be in touch with locals is important to me when I’m travelling because I can learn so much about their culture and behaviour.
from Cat Bá National Park
After my stay in Halong I had to go to Hanoi from where my flight to Bangkok went on the following day. So Hanoi was just a one night stopover for me. Although as a city it will always be unforgettable for me because (maybe you remember my post where I had my first ukulele lesson on the beach?) it was where I bought my first musical instrument – a ukulele. Even though I cannot really play, from now on I can practise whenever I want to.
Well, I’m back in Bangkok right now to plan my adventure for the next few weeks. And where will I be spending the next few weeks? Here in Thailand – I will be heading up to Chiang Mai on an overnight train on the 23rd.
I’m so glad to share my experience with you and I’m already looking forward to my adventures.