Our first day began when we were picked up from our hotel at around 8.15am and taken down to the bay in a fairly comfy coach, taking around 3 and a half hours. Our coach took about 30 minutes longer than most due to a family travelling with us with a young child who needed to stop about 10 times on the journey for a pee – delightful.
Once arriving at Bai Chay Wharf, we then boarded the Marguerite Junk and made ourselves at home in our room with a welcome drink. After quickly freshening up, we headed to the dining area to meet the staff and others on the cruise and were treated to a set menu lunch of traditional Vietnamese food.
We then headed out to explore the Hang Sung Sot known as Surprise Cave; a glistening beauty within Halong Bay. When we returned to the boat, we were whisked away to a nearby floating village to explore the locals daily life. Around 5pm we were dropped off at a nearby island with an option to go swimming in the sea or take a hike up for a different view point. We took the hike to get some shots of the majestic Halong Bay then took a little swim before heading back onto the boat.
Another quick shower was followed by a Vietnamese cooking session where we learnt how to prepare vegetable spring rolls. We finished this around 7.15pm and settled down for a lovely dinner with a variety of food to try.
That evening, the boat offered a film in the dining room… the Top Gear episode where they travel across Vietnam. We went for the squid fishing option with one of the crew members then got ourselves a cocktail and relaxed on the sundeck watching the stars glisten over the dark open waters.
The next morning, breakfast was served at 7am followed by a rowing boat ride through the tunnel caves of Halong Bay. By 10am we had checked out of our cabins and were relaxing on the sundeck as we headed back to the Wharf. The journey back to our hotel was quick and easy with refreshment provided on the way.
We loved this boat because the staff were excellent and incredibly friendly. The stops you were taken to weren’t too over crowded like other cruises we had researched and the whole boat was so beautifully decorated and clean. Our room was nicer than many we had stayed in whilst in Vietnam and of course, the view is beautiful. The shower is powerful and warm with intricate decoration and I couldn’t find a flaw with any part of this trip. Highly recommended!
We paid USD $230 for the both of us and were upgraded to the Ocean View Cabin. Prices and itinerary may have changed slightly since our visit so do check the website.
The picture below is printed on the back of a 200,000 VND note. Hover over to see the note.
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