Carolyn made it to Vietnam!! I can’t believe this is roughly the halfway mark of my adventure! It’s crazy because I feel like I just arrived in Asia, but I also feel like this lifestyle has become my life now. So all I can really do, is continue to live in the moment!! Haha
We embarked on our three hour bus ride to Halong Bay, where we boarded our junk boat. Along the way, we picked up 10 kilos (22 pounds) of fresh oysters for 30,000 dong (about 1.50 USD). After boating out into the islands (there are over 2000!!!!), the boat put down its anchor where we prepared for a full day of activities before sleeping on the boat that night. I found it really interesting that people are told there are 1,969 islands in Halong Bay (which coincidentally is the same year Ho Chi Minh died🤔).
After having lunch, we boarded the little dinghy attached to our big junk boat. On there we went to a different bay where we rented kayaks. It was so gorgeous!!! (I don’t have any photos tho…didn’t want to get my camera wet 🙁) The water was perfectly blue and the islands were fully of vibrant green vegetation. We kayaked through this tiny cave thing into a little cove, where the water was so calm. Apparently you can see monkeys on the islands sometime.
After kayaking, the dinghy took us to an island where we were allowed to swim. What I was most excited for was this tiny hike to the highest point on that island. Let me correct that last sentence…I was excited for the view at the end of the tiny hike. Hahaha The heat was absolutely brutal, which made the hike seem way worse than it was because I think we were only walking for like 15/20 minutes. The view was completely worth it though. OH MY GOODNESS!!! Like I’ve said multiple times on this trip, the view was absolutely breathtaking. Looking back at my photos, I honestly don’t believe how vivid the colors were and how clear of a day we had. There are few things quite as stunning as seeing Halong Bay from such a vantage point. You can see so many islands and the numerous junk boats anchored in the bay. It was something out of a magazine. I simply could not believe my eyes! What was the cherry on top of that hike though was making it back down to the bottom and wading straight into the refreshing waters. I can’t think of a better way to cool down!
This perfect day didn’t end there! We shared a bottle of wine on the roof of our boat before dinner to watch the sunset. I was amazed by how vivid all the different colors were. That is up there with one of the most memorable sunsets I’ve ever witnessed.
Our dinner was fantastic!! It was a big display of numerous local sea foods including (you guessed it) those oysters our CEO got on our trip to the bay!
After dinner people did their own things on the boat. I opted to head to the lounge chairs on the roof again. I stayed up there until at least 11 or 12, which normally isn’t that late for me, but we’d been waking up at 6 or 7 every morning. That night probably goes down a one of the most magical moments not only of that trip but also in all my travel adventures! We all just laid there and stared at the stars in the unbelievably clear sky. The full moon kept rising in the sky as we had deep conversations and shared stories from all over the world. It’s moments like this one that remind me why I love traveling so much. 😊