[잉그리드의 전주살이] Halong Bay
[잉그리드의 전주살이] Halong Bay
  • Ingrid 전주대 교수
  • 승인 2018.08.30 18:18
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I went to Vietnam about 12-15 years ago. I started in Ho Chi Minh City and worked my way north to Hue and then to Hanoi. I timed my trip badly because I was there for Lunar New Year's. There everyone travels home and the holiday is longer. There is only one rail line and so traffic can only move so fast. I made a rail reservation early enough for Hue, which is in the middle, but when I got off the train and made a reservation for Hanoi, I could only get one for 5 days later and I could only get to Hanoi two days before it was time to fly home. So I rushed through Hanoi, always thinking about returning.




Since then I discovered Halong Bay and traveling there appealed to me. I decided this should be the summer I go. There was a seven day window between commitments. I had a problem with the visa and it got canceled, but another commitment got canceled giving me time to go, so I found cheap flights and off I went.




I got a hotel inside the old quarter for the first two nights and then I was off to Halong Bay for three days. The tour company took us by bus to a boat where we slept overnight. First we had lunch as we started to go through the islands. We changed into swimsuits and went kayaking. I took a boat by myself and paddled with the rest to an island with a cave. The slope looked too slippery for my worn knees so I got back into my boat after taking pictures and explored a little. Then we paddled around some islands and then swam. We returned to the boat, showered and ate dinner moored between the islands with the moon shining above. It was quiet and lovely, looking out at all these karsks rising out of the sea. There were other boats moored there but we were far from them and their noise. I was disappointed not to see more stars.




The next day we had breakfast and then went to Titop Island and the others climbed to the top. I went into the water with my dry bag, which I brought with me with my camera inside. The water was lovely and warm and I enjoyed the water. It was the only place with a real beach of any size we swam at. There was a boat outside the beach area rounding up jellyfish so we could swim unassaulted. We returned to the boat and showered, and then traded boats. On the new boat we had lunch and got a new guide. After lunch we kayaked again and then went to Cat Ba Island. We stayed at a nice hotel and went with the guide for genuine Vietnamese food. The next day we got on the boat again and returned to Halong Bay, eating food on the ship one more time. The food on the ship was pretty good. We returned to the travel office in Hanoi before dinner and I was pretty happy with my trip.


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