28 August 2014
After all that happened the previous night, we really couldn’t wait to get away from Hanoi! We were in fact so looking forward to our 3 days 2 nights cruise trip to Halong Bay! Woke up early in the morning to pack and prepare for our 8am departure~
After a few stopovers including a Pearl Museum which was quite interesting because it’s my first time seeing how pearls are actually “made“, we finally reached the harbour! Waited for our cruise to be ready before we boarded this small boat to get to our cruise~
The one we booked was actually a bigger one – Dragon Pearl Junk – for 16 people, but we were upgraded to a private family cruise – Prince Cruise at the last minute due to insufficient people. I was quite skeptical that it’s an “upgrade” since we would be on a smaller cruise and it also sounded dangerous to have just 6 girls on board with 8-9 men (staff)! Like if anything happened to us, we wouldn’t be able to escape in the middle of the sea~ But the good thing is, we have all these crew serving just us! Hahaha! Such luxury!
Did not manage to snap pictures of all 8 courses but they are mostly seafood~ When asked if we have any special request for food, I actually said no spring onions and onions, but I forgot to include parsley and they had it in many dishes! T.T
A little small but cozy~ I think it’s not exactly a cruise, but it resembles more like the smaller private yachts that I saw during the Yacht Show (:
The tour guide briefed us on the plan for our tour and despite being a lil‘ disappointed that we may have to skip kayaking for the day due to the bad weather, the tour guide promised that we would have plenty of time the next 2 days to do so. So while waiting to arrive at our first island, which would take a few hours, we took the chance to snap some pictures of Halong Bay on the upper deck!
Played Asshole Daidee together at the dining area and I was stuck as the Queen! Hohoho~ Makes me like Asshole Daidee more than the original because I can keep winning xD
The rain never really stopped for long and halfway while we were resting, the tour guide frantically called out for Yinning to inform her of the very bad news 😦 Due to the really bad weather (and a boat that sank which we found out later), the government has issued an order for all the boats to turn back, which means our 3D2N cruise was forced to cancel!!! –CRY!!!!!–
No more kayaking, no more dinner in the cave, no more cozy private rooms but hello Hanoi again! x.x
We were so reluctant to go back because initially it was only 3 days in Hanoi (including our last day), but now we had to spend another 2 days there when all we wanted to was to escape from that city of scammers and thieves! Sigh~ Really a super suayyyy trip!
But the girls remained very positive and we had a major cam-whore session with all the remaining time we had on board because it would take a few hours to travel back to the harbour~ Of course we had lots of stuff to settle as well, like the refund, which suddenly made us damn rich, and of course arranging for our accommodation for the 2 nights!
The tour agency that we booked the cruise from actually wanted us to find our own accommodation, but it was so last-minute and by the time we reach Hanoi, it would be as late as 9-10pm! So suddenly we became like a bunch of homeless people but luckily after much calling, that super kind pregnant staff at Splendid Stars (our hotel for the first 2 nights) told us to just go back and she would settle everything for us! 😀 *super touchedddddd*
And then it was our 8-course dinner for the final farewell~
By the time we finished dinner, we were also nearing the harbour and the rain was still pretty heavy, which means our cruise was still shaking quite badly. We were given ponchos to put on followed by life jackets, so that we could board that small boat again to get to the harbour. Then all of a sudden, our relaxing cruise trip turned into like a frantic 逃难 moment!
I did not realise how serious a situation we were in and I was still helping Yinning with her poncho, then before I realised, the tour guide was suddenly frantically buckling up my life jacket because I seemed the most ready and he was like, “Okay! You go first!”
The next thing I know, I was battling the rain and super strong wind and I was supposed to climb down this slippery ladder in the dark to get to the boat! I was kinda horrified for a moment that I actually stepped back with that “OMG I’m supposed to do this?!” reaction! I was so scared that I may just slip and fall into the sea but yet it seemed like such a frantic moment and the staff were trying to get us off the cruise as soon as possible!
So I quickly gathered all my courage and held on tightly to the ladder as I climbed down into the boat, with the help of the staff of course. The girls started joining me one by one and we were all suddenly so damn awakened by what’s going on. It really seemed like we were in some kind danger with the staff shouting around and behaving so frantically; it’s like we needed to escape immediately!
But that wasn’t all because the small boat seemed even more scary! With all of us together with the staff and our 6 heavy luggage on this tiny boat, it really seemed like it may sink anytime, especially when the wind was rocking us real badly!!! SUPER SCARY PLEASE~! Thank goodness we reached the harbour safely in no time and I must really applause for the staff for how well-trained they are. They really managed to help us “escape” in the shortest possible time and although we did not learn about the sinking of the boat incident from them, I think they had really tried their best in ensuring our safety (:
Quite a memorable experience!!! Haha!
So it was another 2.5 to 3 hours bus journey back to Hanoi and our day was gone just like this 😦 6 hours to and fro. But at least we did see Halong Bay and did enjoy a bit of the cruise! Just that we did not choose the right season to go so we missed out quite a bit from this trip~
But in the end we realised only our room has got the huge bed while the other 2 rooms were both rather small and not-up-to-standard in terms of cleanliness too. The girls were all disappointed with their rooms but those were the only ones available. So in the end, we decided to take in 1 more person – Shrine’s cousin and split into 3 in each room, so that at least 1 more person gets to enjoy our big bed before we find another hotel the next day~
Such an exhausting day even though we did not do much!