We left Hanoi early in the morning and headed southeast toward Ha Long Bay, a world heritage site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the Natural World. After a four hour trip through rural Vietnam we boarded the 50 passenger Victory Star for an overnight trip on the bay. Ha Long Bay, literally meaning Decending Dragon, is made up of some 1,900 limestone monoliths that are said to resemble the back of a submerged dragon. Although the weather was overcast and occasionally rainy the scenery was spectacular. We landed by tender at a small floating fishing village where we transferred to a small boat manned by a local villager for a view of the homes and a trip through the arched rock formation nearby.
On returning to the Victory Star we enjoyed a traditional Vietnamese dinner and retired to our well-appointed and roomy stateroom. We were up early the next morning for a chilly ride by tender to one of the monoliths where we climbed almost to the top and entered a large cave that had been discovered by a father and son as they tried to find safety during a typhoon many years ago. They cave was quite large, had multiple rooms and was complete with stalactites and stalagmites.
Following brunch we cruised before returning to the dock for the four hour drive back to Hanoi. Ha Long Bay was one of the top highlights of our trip