Halong Bay consists of thousands of karst (limestone) islands that tower out of the water at odd angles.
We wanted to Kayak from one side of the bay to another.... but everyone looked at us as if we were insane when we asked if it was possible to rent a kayak. I guess we will have to do a cheesy tour with everyone else.
Here you can see 4 or 5 of the limestones islands protruding out of the water... and a local fishing boat.
It was like bumper cars with all the boats. Too many tourists all doing the same thing.
Jason was once again subjected to the "...when I was here 8 years ago.... before it was cool.... there was no one here... not so many damn tourists..." routine that Claire has become awfully fond of.
This is Hang Dau Go grotto. It was beautiful with three huge chambers inside and had remarkably few naff coloured lights relative to the China caving experience and unlike China no one seemed to be trying to break off the stalagtites or spitting, pissing and smoking in the caves.
Our guide called it surprise cave, we are not sure if this was the surprise.
NB: Having a penis shaped rock lighted in pink in definitely consistent with their sexually repressed Northern neighbours.
The insane boatman jumped off to play with this massive jellyfish.
Jason poses on deck, contemplating a swim with giant jellyfish. Alas the man who swims with Crocodiles, Piranhas and sharks had this to say, "Bollox to that!".
If you look closely you can see Jason's singlet marks coming along quite nicely. Top beard as well!
Locals cook and eat on their floating rafts / fish farms.
Jason likes his boats.
Vietnamese boats must pass a visual inspection to ensure; they could sink at any minute, are flying the Vietnamese flag, have no muffler, and have at least 15 skinny people aboard for ballast.
We stayed on Cat Ba island which must have a temporary (10 year) ban on building permits as we have never seen so much awful architecture in such a beautiful place.