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just what I needed


Thursday evening
44 students are sitting in "position" to attend the first English class... given by a Belgium women... at the moment that I was trying to calm down the hormones of this group ( hihi) I received a phone call from a Belgian girl, Ione, who wanted to join me on my weekend trip to Halong Bay. Talking on the phone was impossible because of all the students so I called her back after my class... we planned to meet each other the next day to book our tour... 

after work, I rushed to the old quarter to meet Ione. Home made dinner, the arrival of two new housemates( backy from UK and Thobias from States) and my lasiness, made me arrive in Southern style...= just a little bit late... anyway, we found eacho ther thanks to the technology of a mobile phone around the Hoan Khiem Lake and jumped into the old quarter to find the perfect Halong bay trip for the weekend. At the end of the evening, just before closing time, we booked a DELUX trip and that was the start of an amazing weekend! 

saturday morning
a minibus from the agency picked me up at the booking office... my first concern "where is Ione" cause she wasn't in the bus... the guide tried to persuade me that everything was under control and that I would meet my friend in Halong Bay... three hours of sound horning and bumping later ( and a stop in a government handicraft shop) I arrived in the harbour of Halong Bay. Hundreds of tourists were trying to find their way to the right boat, tens of guides were trying to lead the right passenger to their boats ...WHAT A CHAOS ...there were many of them all offering "the best cruise to explore Halong bay" ( Marco, I was just wandering is that the way you get customers to the Galapagos Islands ?hihi) 

My travel bible tells me "Majestic and mysterious, inspiring and imperious: words alone cannot do justice to the natural wonder that is Halong Bay. Imagine 3000 or more incredible islands rising from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin and you have a vision of breathtaking beauty. Halong Bay is pure art, a priceless collection of unfinished sculptures hewn from the hand of nature" 

I can't do it better so I tried to capture this beauty in a few pictures... 

The boat was a pearl of luxury with 3 decks: sundeck, dining deck and the one for the bedrooms. For the first time since my arrival, I slept in an airco room and it wasn't a bad idea... the heat and the humility made this area difficult to get some sleep... the airco helped me.. 
The food was WAAAAAW, fresh and delicious prepared, my compliments to the chef(s)... the surroundings like in a fairytale! I really recommend this spot on earth and if you are willing to vote to make this a new world wonder, don't hesitate and go for it 

We got on the boat on saturday around 1pm and were welcomed by a little local drink and a delicious lunch.. that was also the perfect moment to socialize with the people on the table and the table next to ours... ey were you saying that you are from Belgium" 
I looked the way this words came from and I answered " yes, we do "oh I used to study for four months in Leuven" 
Voila the ice was broken and everybody introduced him or herself and that was the start of a really nice boat trip... 

We left the harbour and floated to the Hang Sung Cave, famous for the pink-lit rock phallus, which is regarded as a fertility symbol. From there we went to a small fisher village and got into kayaks. Ione and I got into one and the first minutes were crucial hihi At our own tempo and style, we found our way to a beautiful bay.. I sealed my presence there by dropping my sunglasses and one of my Indian toerings in the water... they are safe now... 

After the trip they brought us back to our boat and then there was the time to relax, to swim and to capture a bit of the last sun before the sunset( ik was in mijn nopjes met mijn nieuw speel goedje) ... my swim talent is lesser developed than the one that is responsible for the pictures so I enjoyed that moment on top of the boat... only at the end and with the help of a rescue buoy I had also my five minutes of water pleasure hihi, the crew was preparing an astonishing dinner with crab, shrimps, shells and other delicacies from the sea... what a feast! the night was suppose to end in Vietnamese style with Karaoke... but the boys had other plans and around 11.30pm they changed the channel and flop there was EURO2008 ... a pity but not so bad cause it gave us the time make enough wishes for the next 10 year ( i detected for shooting stars !) 

the next morning, 'tante Vietnammie' was there to capture the sunrise, but one of the thousand little hills didn't allow me... still the atmosphere was magical and mysterious. halong bay was still asleep and so nature was just whispering... 
Around 7.30am breakfast was served and the rest of the trip was just relaxing and trying to get a bit tanned :). At 11am lunch was served and that was the end of the trip on the boat... and for me also the end of my great experience! 

The trip was just amazing and I was just over happy to be able to experience this! it was just what I needed after a week where I had faced a lot of cultural frustrations and pain in my ears of all the urban noises.

Source: Travel Blogs



Xin Chao Travel Halong Bay
We are happy to send you our impressions on our excellent trip to Halong Bay with your company. The organization and monitoring of our trip was impeccable, thanks to our friendly and excellent guide Minh not forgetting the super driver Dzung.

Mardy Scott (Australia)

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