Day 12 – Ha Long Bay Glory Legend Junk Tour
Finally the day that I have been waiting for several decades to finally arrive! We are to head down to the lobby and board our junk to Ha Long Bay. It has been a dream of mine for so long to get pictures of this world icon. Going by experience all of our transportation (Airport Pickup, hotel transfers, and checking in for our cruise with heritage line went so smoothly I must have been lulled into a false sense of security, because I was in for a shock this morning making sure we were getting on the right shuttle bus to take us to our cruise with Glory Legend. The only information we received from our travel agent was that the bus driver would meet us in the lobby at 8am.
What we were not told, and had no way of knowing was that our hotel was the starting off point for many cruise companies plying Ha Long Bay. Once I figured this out, the anxiety level rose through the ceiling. We almost found ourselves checking in to the wrong cruise. It went up several more notches when the scheduled time for up pickup came and went! Did we miss our pickup? Did another couple go in our place? The direction and organization for this cruise was not what Mi Jung and I were used to, and it was very unsettling. We did however eventually get picked up, and were on our way.
Here is Mi Jung ready to head out to the Glory Legend.
The luggage is on board, and we get our cruise briefing.
As we are heading out to our junk, in front of us is the couple that we ate out meals with, they are from Canada.
Being greeted by the crew.
We then boarded the excursion boat to try out some kayaking. I discovered that a tandem kayak is very hard to use properly. Especially if you and your partner do not have very good communication. Here is Mi Jungs’s first kayak experience.
We paddled through his natural cave, into a natural cove. I got the bright idea to get out of the kayak and take pictures of Mi Jung by herself. What I did not take into account was the foot sucking silt on the bottom. Which ended up claiming one of my flip flops, and as I was trying to free myself, I fell over and cut my legs up on the muscles, the lengths we sometimes go to get good photographs.
Paddling through the natural cave back to the junk.
This leads to another annoyance I felt with this cruise. The crew seemed to be very rushed, and not very understanding of their passenger’s moods / needs. Whereas on the RV Jahan we were looked after and pampered. The crew of the Glory Legend just seemed indifferent. They miscounted the number of Kayaks and we ended up one short. Mi Jung and I had to wait for a couple to come back before we could start kayaking. This made us the last group back to the excursion boat and we felt like we held everyone up!
We then later pulled up to this nice beach so we could go swimming, where I spent most of my time giving Mi Jung swimming lessons. Again I really felt we were rushed. We were given 45 minutes to either climb to the observation house on the top of the rock, or go swimming.
We then headed back to the junk, and had chance to shower and have some Ha Long Beer, then sitting down for dinner and afterwards haveing a relaxing get together with the other junk mates, a spring roll making lesson and some really good Coconut wine (That I unfortunately forgot to get a bottle of.)
These remind me of the pictures we always see of Ha Long bay with the rock outcroppings in the background.