Vietnam Day 4

Christmas Eve Halong Bay

It was an early rise and breakfast here again today. But today we were traveling across to Halong Bay. Coffee and his brother Egg (Thats what they called themselves) picked us up and explained what they were doing. They were so friendly.

We had 2 quick rest stops on the way. One was just a small toilet and washroom and the other was a pearl farm outlet that you could see people making pearls. In total the whole drive down here was about 3 hours.

When we arrived we relaxed at the Signature Cruise shop front. We got this weird leaf drink that was just ok and paid for our cruise.

At 12:15 it was time to board a little boat to our big tour boat. Signature Royal Cruises is a beautiful ship. All guests went into the dining room first where they had our tables set up for us with our countries flags on them. We have named them mini embassy. There are quite a few different countries on the ship. We have USA, Canada, Israel, Denmark, Singapore, India, another table of Aussies from Perth. We have gotten to know most of them over the day which is nice. We were given the run down of the ship here by the man in charge Tommy who really is just delightful. Then given out room keys. Our Rooms are stunning as well the room has a jacuzzi and a balcony.

It was then time for lunch. We headed back upstairs to an amazing buffet lunch. It had everything to eat. We all filled up our plates and probably ate way to much. But it was good.

After lunch we had a little bit of time to relax and Anth and I spent it staring out over our balcony taking in the absolutely beautiful scenery. This is one of the prettiest places I have ever seen. The rock faces are huge and you can see eagles just flying around.

The first activity was going out to the floating village. We had a choice to Kayak around the village or take the villager boat. As we will be kayaking tomorrow we went the village boat. It was right at this time that it started to rain. The start our tour through the fishing village had all of us under umbrella’s huddled down to keep the rain off. Even in the rain and the mist we were treated to the most stunning views. The floating village is mostly empty now. There used to be 350 people living there but Vietnam has gifted them free housing on the Mainland and a free school. The villagers still come back to do the tours and look after the pearl and oyster farms.

As our luck would have it the rain decided to stop for the last part of the tour allowing us to have a really good look at the beauty of Halong Bay. We stopped in the floating pearl and oyster farm and they showed us how they farm oysters. They have 3 different types of oysters and showed us all of them.

They then had a small showroom. Anthony got me a pearl necklace. It is an imperfect pearl which I really love. It is multi coloured and not fully round.

We jumped back on the main boat (5 boats today) and we started our journey to make anchor for tonight. For the next two hours we either sat on our balcony or on the top of our ship. The views were breathtaking and the sunset was stunning. We headed up for another amazing dinner and then it was activity time.

We went squid fishing for a bit. We saw a squid but only caught some plastic bags :( Maybe we will have more luck tomorrow night. After that the crew did a Christmas Party. Tommy asked us how to say the name of this guy *holds up a photo of Santa Claus * Then this Vietnamese Santa appears with gifts for us all. It was lovely. Then the night got weirder. I am not sure where they found their traditional Christmas games like ‘share the banana’ which is a game where someone blindfolded feeds a banana to another person. Anyway I just say that we had many laughs and will have many crazy stories to tell you if you want to hear. We retired down stairs and did our own little Aussie family Christmas gifts. Everyone bought amazing funny things so it was such a good night.

I am going in the jacuzzi before bed!!! Cannot wait until tomorrow.