06.04.2012 - 10.04.2012 25 °C
So I think one of the things you work out when you have been travelling for three months is that you don't always need a tour to do the touristy things and you don't always have to have a plan to have a great time, among other things. So I take the lead and talk two guys (Endaf and Reid (a Canadian I picked up) and we board a boat to Ha Long Bay in search of a boat and a good time!
So we turn up to Ha Long Bay City to find it rain -first rain on my since leaving England- and quickly work out that there is a reason why people book tours to the bay and not come to the City. In the evening we go out for a beer and after about an hour of looking we come across -probably- the only bar. Even though there is a excess of Hotels and even more being built. When we awake in the morning we head out in search of tours and breakfast to find it is still raining. The problem is that we are finding tours but these are $300+ luxury tours so when we find a tour for more our budget we jump at it. That evening we head off in the different direction and after an even longer walk to turn back up to the bar from the night before and give in and stay there again.
So the next day we head for the harbour and the boat. I think I am going to get the moaning out of the way in one go. The tour was shocking, we were treated like cattle and only confirmed my dislike for packaged tours -Done! So the Islands themselves were so beautiful, I would even say breathtaking isn't over the top. This maze of mountains peaking out of the sea like a flooded mountain range. One of the activities at we did was to kayak, and a majestic time was spent padding around the Islands -beer in hand of course! The rest of the pleasant mix of drinking chatting and a completely out of character trait of sing karaoke!
So the next day -needless to say- I was a bit tender, must have been something I ate and we leave the boat to Cat Ba Island. First on the list is to climb a mountain. Myself being the high intelligent person I am in that time in the morning decided that flip flops are a suitable choice of foot wear and head up the hill. I arriving at the hope I can safely say that I was hating life at this time. and feel on a rock and sat there in a sweaty heap wondering at wont point us climbing the mountain was involved in our agreement to not climb the flaming thing. I can at least say that I was entertainment to all up there and can confirm that there is enough photos of me from strangers for you all to see one. One the way down it I removed my flip flops and walked down the hill in a better mood and reached the bottom muddy footed and ady some would say to face the world again. I left the Island with to things on my minds. One that I think I have seen some of the most beautiful scenery at see I will ever see and two I was right not to like tours!