A trip to Halong Bay is number one in the top 20 experiences in the Lonely Planet’s Vietnam handbook. The popular guide also suggests an overnight cruise and a kayak on the smooth water, so I did just that. This is a follow up to my snapshot from when I was there.
Halong Bay, on the north-east of Vietnam, has over 2,000 stunning limestone islands. The world heritage site is without doubt the most breathtaking place I’ve ever been to.
Our group was on a boat overnight and we were treated to an excellent lunch, dinner and breakfast. During the day it was incredibly hot, making it too stifling to make use of the lounge chairs on the top deck. We made up for that at night by spending a few hours relaxing, chatting and star-gazing.
With specially made vegetarian dishes different to the rest of the group, I was very well looked after. One of my favourites was this delicious tofu, that had a good hit of chilli. Pow!
It’s almost impossible to take a bad photo of the scenery, what a natural wonder.
More of my delicious food was vegetable spring rolls, a soft bun filled with sweet red bean and crisp taro and sweet potato croquettes that looked liked a little like fried eggs.
Around 1,600 people live in the floating fishing villages, amongst the rock formations of Halong Bay.
I also had crunchy stir fried vegetables, taro chips (crinkle cut is my favourite!) and sugared peanuts which were great to nibble on.
We all got out on one of the islands to take a walk through some of the amazing caves – I took this shot of a sampan from up high. Looks like I’m in the middle of nowhere, right? It really felt that way too.
As we were heading back to the mainland and (sadly) nearing the end of our stay on the rickety boat, the talented chef came out to show us how to make some beautiful decorative food art.
With a steady hand the chef made an intricate flower with the bottom of a pumpkin, blossoming petals with radish and carrot and an impressive net with clever knife work on a carrot.
And now friends, back to the incredible experience of kayaking through the grottoes. I’ll share some of these non-food-related photos with you, that is, if you want to see them? Leave a comment below and let me know!