Stranded on an island...sorta by Carrie Marshall
We just spent three days in Halong Bay. It was a great trip although I’ve kept saying my golden rule to myself over and over again.
When traveling, always expect the unexpected.
Nothing says it better than this. Our overnight train ride took us from beautiful Nha Trang to Hanoi in twenty-four hours. We made our way to Vicky and Jason’s hotel at 5am, dead-tired and travel-stained. We were able to check in for a few hours to shower and switch packs and then jumped on a bus at 8am, which took us directly to Halong City.
As usual, traveling in Asia always means traveling on a loose time frame. We interspersed our boat trip with a lot of extra waiting around. I’ve found that a pack of cards has become essential when traveling in Asia. Fifteen minutes can easily turn into an hour or two on an Asian timeclock.
Halong Bay is spectacalar. We explored some caves and then spent an evening on Cat Ba Island. We spent a day sea-kayaking and then boarded an old-fashioned junk boat for the night.
This morning brought a surprise. We were unceremoniously dumped off on the island with assurances that our guide would be along shortly to escort us back to Halong City. As we watched the other boats leave, we all became a little uneasy when we realised we were the only ones on the pier with no one else in sight.
A few minutes later, we were approached by a Vietnamese fisherman who informed us there were no other boats coming. They had left us behind and we were out in the middle of nowhere. After some quick thinking and some helpful advice from some locals and the police, we jumped on motorcycles with all our gear and sped the 30km back into the village. We were pretty angry, but the tour group rectified everything right away. They served us a huge meal free of charge and booked us on a high speed boat back to the port in Halong City. From there, we were ushered onto a deluxe bus for the rest of the journey.
In all honesty, we traveled back better than we traveled there. We arrived an hour or two later than we had planned, but we’re here and that’s all that counts.over 5 years ago