One of the real treats of Halong Bay was kayaking through the amazing karst rock formations, and then landing on a coral beach.
Our guides were extremely experienced in quickly loading a large number of people into kayaks, and not a single person made an accidental ‘wet entry’ (like me the only other time I’ve gone kayaking!)
Kayaks waiting for us to climb in…
I’m in the front of the kayak taking photos while Al is in the rear working, and that’s the way I like things!
Landing on the coral beach.
Half the rocks were coral and the other rocks looked like fragments of glaciers, very odd to see in Vietnam.
Almost time to leave and the sun is setting in a spectacular fashion. Heading out into the sunset. That’s our boat in the distance, Handspan’s Treasure Junk. No wet entries upon landing and getting back on the boat. In November of 2003, we went on Handspan’s cruise of the karst-filled bays outside Hanoi. The three-day, two-night trip cost $67 per person and included an option of either kayaking or hiking. We choose the hiking, and it was amazing, but after we talked to some people that chose the kayaking option we wanted to do that too.
In December of 2013 we went back, determined to see if we could work out something that included cruising the bay, AND kayaking, PLUS maybe staying a few days on Cat Ba and kicking back on the beach there. Unfortunately, it was 14°C (58°F) and raining when we landed in Hanoi, with a cold snap that was expected to last a while, not exactly beach weather.
The price had gone up as well, and Cat Ba was not really on Handspan’s list of destinations anymore. So in the end we opted for the two-day, one-night tour ($160 pp) which worked out perfectly – the sun came out for the two days and we had a great time.
More on our Halong Bay cruise: