An overnight stay in Central Backpackers Hostel in Hanoi, and straight out for another tour. This time, Halong Bay.
We set off by bus with some other people from the hostel and then the hilarious Vietnamese tour guide with strong British accent (he said he learned English through British TV shows..) got to work. He made us go around the bus, introducing ourselves and then getting the bus to give each other a nickname, mine being Colossal Chris which was quite safe compared to some.
And then when I turned around, someone recognised me. It turned out Ged and Natalia, a couple that had stayed with me in Da Lat were also on the tour! Traveller circles are very small it seems.
Anna, Mel and Angella that i’d known from Hanoi and Sapa were also coming on the tour which meant I wasn’t completely friendless.
We got on the boat and relaxed a little on the top deck where there were deckchairs and table football, getting to know one another.
We were then got access to our rooms which were actually quite nice. I was sharing a room with Anna the blonde Australian.
And then whilst eating lunch, there was plenty of time to load up on some pictures of the mountains at Halong Bay…
We passed the mountain that the 200,000 dong bank note has on it at one stage so I took a quick snap.
In the afternoon we got an opportunity to go kayaking which was AMAZING.
Okay… one caveat, me and Matthew who was the guy partnering me in the kayak weren’t very good at steering, but we had the muscle to make it go really fast haha.
(Images taken with my old crappy HTC One as didn’t care if it got destroyed by water)
And then after jumping off the boat a few times when returning, showering, I got ready for an evening which of course was drinking with the others on the top deck.
Probably the best party card drinking game has to be Kings Cup / Ring of Fire when you have a group of people so we played that.
Whilst drinking away, another boat moored up next to ours and was full of South Americans. So they hopped onto our boat and joined the party. I don’t think i’ve ever seen such a high level table football game. It was intense. I didn’t even know you could do half the things they were doing. The Vietnamese crew onboard had practised most days for about 3 years that they had run this tour so were complete experts.
And, after drinking some more, I eventually headed to bed.
The next day we didn’t do much other than chill some more on the boat, have some lunch and head back to Hanoi. So I took in some last views of the beautiful mountainous scenery and planned my next adventure.