After we settled in our cabin, we had some free time before lunch time to start our cruise in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. Our junk boat slowly moved out the crowded port area towards the labyrinth of passageways among the thousands of rocks and isles in Ha Long Bay that made the place famous. We started following what looked like a main route to get to the open seas, so we saw many other boats, big and small. But eventually we would turn to a less crowded route, and not long after it seemed that we were alone in a quiet inlet.
Kristi and I went to the upper deck level of the boat to enjoy the scenery. It was colder than we expected, but I suppose it’s because we were in winter season as well. We just didn’t associate coastal Vietnam with cold before. Fortunately we had our gears ready since we just came from the mountainous region of Sapa. For a moment it was really nice to just stay quiet and enjoy the calm waters around with the surreal landscape around that looked like it came out of paintings or pictures that we’ve seen so many times. Then I thought about an article I read during the trip planning that talked about tourists had this iddylic picture in their head, only to be confronted with the reality that many others also had the same idea, and you end up having to enjoy the panorama with thousand other people on many other boats next to yours. Fortunately our tour company was true to their words as they mentioned that our particular cruise was supposed to be ‘off the beaten path’ and it would take us to areas that are less crowded and more secluded.
The photo below was taken from the top deck of our boat as we cruised out towards the rocks and isles of Ha Long Bay. You can see the layers of rocks and isles in front of us, and also a big ship going towards the open sea.