With my time in Korea coming to an end I really wanted to take advantage of my proximity to other Asian countries and explore the ones I had yet to visit. This trip would be two months! The longest I had ever travelled before. I was trying to decide what to bring; cute but practical outfits that would keep me cool in the hot rainy season heat were my biggest priority and I brought way too much! Oh well I have accepted that I am a notorious overpacker and so I just went with it.
While planning my trip I looked into the cheapest country to fly into, and for me that was Vietnam. So I decided to start my adventure there and headed to the airport a few hours after my last class in Korea. It was a bittersweet goodbye but I knew it was time to see new things.
My first stop in Vietnam was Ha Long Bay! I was so excited to see this place. Not only is it a UNESCO site, and I am determined to see as many of them as possible, it looked so beautiful in the pictures I had seen and I wanted this tranquil looking place to be my first stop.
When I arrived I dropped my bags off and headed out to climb this mountain to get some perfect views. While the views were incredible, my favourite views were the ones I saw from the deck of the two boats I took out in the bay.
The first one was a tour package and it included a day trip on a boat (Indochina Junk), a delicious multi-course lunch, climbing through a cave and time to kayak in the bay. I really signed up for this tour because I really wanted to kayak in the bay and it was a perfect day. From the deck we got to sail past the limestone cliffs that jutted out of the water and could leisurely relax on deck chairs as we took in the blue skies and beautiful scenery.
The next day, my homestay host organized a local tour with a fisherman. They took me to a different area of the bay, away from the cruise liners and tour boats and towards more local areas. We climbed through two caves that took us up into the cliffs and offered really pretty views. We also went to an old military base that was used by Vietnamese soldiers during the American-Vietnam War.
I was grateful to have two different perspectives and really got to see the beauty of this place up close. It was the perfect start to my adventure…next up trekking in the mountains!