Freaky Friday 13th.
Today was massive. All up at 0700 down for breakfast returned to room and ready for pick up at 0800 for Ha Long Bay. The girls decided to get housekeeping back and made a ‘cam on’ which is thank you in Vietnamese with towels and gifts on the bed it was pretty cool.
We checked out of Hotel and we were picked up 0800 first of the group and then driven around to pick up the rest of the tour. 20 people in total and 45 minutes of driving around the old quarter. We then left Hanoi for Ha Long Bay.
Our guide introduced himself Tuc (or Tuc Tuc like the bike cart) he was excellent and a really colourful guide. He talked for the first 30 minutes of the trip with pretty good English, French and Russian skills displayed. We then all had to introduce ourselves and what country we are from, a good way to distract us from the long drive. We drove 2 hours before having a toilet and drink stop, then continued.
Tuc explained that it was a only 170km from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay but we would be there in a total of 4 hours. On the last leg we picked up our last couple who were on the side of the road in the rain, pretty strange meeting place for western tourists.
Tuc was pretty close to the mark. We arrived approx. 1245 for the tender to take us to the main boat and it was raining lightly. We then boarded, got our welcome drinks and waited for cabin keys to be allotted. We had a good mix of ages and countries represented on-board the boat. We were given our cabins and then returned in half an hour for lunch. Plenty of time to drop bags off and have a look around while we cruised Ha Long Bay.
In for lunch and it was a massive spread, it was really nice and on our table was another Aussie couple, French couple, Belarus family and a solo Korean man. The French couple were the ones we picked up randomly on the side of the road and ordered a bottle of wine straight up for lunch. We could see early they were going to be fun. Got talking to the Aussie couple during the tour as the weather was a shocker it was best spent inside.
Tuc then explained that we would be kayaking. It was raining so we got the ponchos out and transferred by tender to a floating village for our canoes. We did 45 minutes of canoeing around Ha Long Bay, got some good photos and then returned for the tender back to the main boat.
From here we cruised Ha Long Bay and then hopped on the tender again to visit Surprise Cave.
Tuc was really good, gave us all a good brief and told us about the turtle stalagmite formation. Rub its head and have good luck for 800 years. The surprise cave is a surprise, we really didn’t think it would be that massive, inside was truly amazing. Tuc went on and explained that Ha Long Bay was just introduced as 1 of the Natural 7 wonders of the world. This then lead me to ponder if this could be added to a growing buckets list of 7 wonders to attend. Much to Summers disgust.
We moved through the caves and it just progressively got bigger as we went in further. We moved through and then picked up the tender for the main boat and had some before we freshened up for dinner. Everything went like clockwork, got to meet everyone and then dinner was served. Our table started to have a few drinks and before Summer and I knew it dinner was done and it was time for Karaoke. Dinner really did fly as we had a lovely Aussie couple and the French couple to keep all the seasons entertained. Karaoke was slow start no adult really firing up to have a go. Our little Spring fired up and was on, noone could hold her back and she kicked off the party with an ABBA classic Mama Mia.
She was very enthusiastic and got the ball rolling and from there it was on. Autumn then fired up and had a go at Dancing Queen.
Really enjoyable night with most of the guests having a go at Karaoke (I think so) We had necked a few drinks, was feeling pretty loose, the singing felt great at the time but I think in hindsight terrible. Our new found Aussie and French friends got up and had a sing. Even though he could speak limited English the French guy got better the more he drank. He belted out a classic Daddy daddy cool, Daddy daddy cool in his French accent it really got the party going, he was awesome. Summer and I had to put the girls to bed approx. 2230 and then returned for some more drinks. We finished up I think around 1230 that night.