Best MonthsAll year
Traveller TypesCouples, Friends
Rank4 out of 42 attractions in Halong Bay
Reviews • 3
There are many activities available like excursions to kayaking, squid fishing, swimming at Ti Top Beach or spa on board. We took the chance to visit Surprise Cave or Sung Sot in Vietnamese. I had to walk a good number of steps before reaching this giant cave with me all the while thinking "this better be worth it!". Well, when i reached inside, i will say a definite "Yes!".Once inside, do remember to look up as you will see clear evidence that the cave was once, in fact, in the ocean and the circular formations on the ceiling of the cave caused by the wave movements is all that remains of its distant past. The guide will point out various rock formations that looks like a man fishing, tortoise, and finger - for me, the beauty of this place is the massiveness of the cave as i wandered from one chamber to another. Sure, i encountered many other tourists when i was there but it didn't bother me as the cave was definitely large enough to accommodate boatfuls of us.Pelican serves excellent meals (although no food is available outside of indicated meal times) on board with variety of staples, meats and seafood. I will highly recommend the happy hour where i got 1 for 1 drinks that I was able to bring in for my dinner service.The other highlight for me was the sunrise above the mountains which made the overnight stay well worth it. We had good weather although it still looked a bit misty to me. But that doubt cleared when we heard that the night before our stay was really bad i.e. you cannot see beyond 10m.Thanks to Xing-Asia for making all the wonderful arrangements!
After resting for a bit, we left for Sung Sot Caves – known to be one of the seven natural wonders in the world. Steps and well lit walkways connect three chambers with unique and beautiful limestone formations. It’s a pretty easy hike and gives you a spectacular view of the bay from the top. The cool breeze inside the cave was a relief. Just have to be careful while walking since the walkway can be slippery.Post the caves, we went for Kayaking - in the bluish green water. It was my first rowing experience and boy was it awesome! Once back to the cruise, we bought ‘fake’ Oreo from the floating market boat, then went to the sun deck and saw the sun set while we munched on appetizers and sipped some wine.Just before dinner, we went fishing on the lower level of the cruise and managed to get only one over enthusiastic crab (who just kept coming back to the fishing rod – I think our tour guys planted the crab so we all don’t feel utterly hopeless).After a very ‘exhausting but totally worth it’ day, I slept like a baby waking up to the sun rise at 6 am. After breakfast, we left for the Pearl Farms where we saw endless rows of oyster baskets, and the implantation and also how to finally the pearl is removed from the oyster. The pearl jewellery shop at the farm was elaborate but expensive. Once we came back, we freshened up and headed to the sun deck for our cooking class. (See how well planned the tour was!). Our tour guide demonstrated how to make rice paper spring rolls using the basic ingredients. Needless to say we gobbled them all up WHILE we were making them!Halong Bay is full of wonder – such breathtakingly vivid place. I couldn’t get enough of the view while I was there – clicking more than 350 pictures, none of which do justice to what I saw – and now that I’m back, I can’t stop talking about it !
As you can see, Pete is rather enjoying the chaos, but I’m finding the beeping and the difficulty of crossing the road a bit overwhelming! Last night was also the start of the ‘Autumn Festival’ in Hanoi, a special celebration of the seasons especially for kids. This meant the streets were absolutely chocca block with people, jostling against the bikes for space! I got a bit stressed out by the heat and the inability to move, but it was cool to see. There were three caves in total, each one bigger than the last. The final one was like an enormous hall with a curved ceiling – stalagmites and stalactites everywhere, and rainwater running down the walls. It was absolutely incredible – and from the outside completely invisible! It was such a great surprise.