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Continued from Vietnam Day 1…

Our second day in Vietnam was settled off with a day tour to Halong Bay. I’m pretty sure most of you knows it’s like a compulsory mission to visit Halong while you’re near Hanoi. From Hanoi, we took a private tour with a coach taking us all the way to catch a boat. It took us about 3.5 hours just to reach the jetty while it was only approximately 160km away from Sofitel Plaza! Blame no one but the narrow ‘highway’ they owned.
Ahem *clears throat*
Before moving into our itinerary, allow me to brag about Ha Long.
Ha Long Bay includes 1,600 islands and islets in the Gulf of Tonkin, in province Quang Ninh that forms a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Because of their precipitous nature, most of the islands are uninhabited and unaffected by a human presence. The site’s outstanding scenic beauty is complemented by its great biological interest. And this was the main reason that Ha Long Bay was listed by UNESCO in its World Heritage Sites. Not only that, it is also a finalist for the latest World’s 7 Natural Wonders & recognized as one of the 33 most beautiful bays of the world.
Pretty awesome right? We thought so too, and HaLong Bay was our favourite travel spot throughout our week at Vietnam.

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Behold: the Icon of Halong Bay – Fighting Cock or Kissing Cock. Some said fight, some mentioned kiss. I’m confused myself too. I preferred it to be named Kissing though.

What’s the fun?
#1 We boarded our very own private and traditional looking boat like these:

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#2 And was treated like kings and queens who were out sailing at Halong, served exclusively with fresh seafoods!

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#3 Stopped by floating houses that are sustained by capture fishing and marine aquaculture. We then decided to buy more mantis prawns and fishes from here!

And continue feasting……

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#4 Taking pictures with the breathtaking scenic views on and off board.

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#5 Reached our destination and decided to climb up to explore the Ha Long Cave
The bay consists of a dense cluster of limestone monolithic islands, each topped with thick jungle vegetation with large numerous stalactites and stalagmites in the cave.

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Beautifully lit caves

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Ray of Light. Our favourite picture of the day.

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View from above the cave with beautiful dragon boats parked mightily at the bay.

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we were ready to board our boat again:)

#6 A fusion dinner at the Taste of Home Restaurant. A Fusion of French flair and authentic Vietnam flavours, I had my best Pho here.
Pho Ha noi (Hanoi Noodle Soup with Chicken) was the best pho I mentioned. Sweet and unadulterated hot broth was a wonder. Along with the flat rice noodles (kuey teeow) and dash in some chili padi for some fiery taste.
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Green Papaya Salad with Dried Beef – very appetizing and I couldn’t stop nibbling on this.

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Fish Springroll of Hanoi. We had springrolls almost everyday but this serving remained the top of the many we had. Not too filling and oily, we enjoyed every bite of it. As a fusion with western essence, they even added in some dressing sauce to add in more flavours. Very clever.
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Fish Cutlet with French Fries

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Clockwise from left:
Sauted Clam with White Wine Sauce
Sauted Seasonal Vegetables
Kung Po Chicken
Stewed Pork in Claypot with Coconut

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Beef in Red Wine Sauce was a big let down. The meat wasn’t very tender, and I let a frown when tasted the sauce.

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Banana Flamebe – the dessert that allowed us to ‘wow’. These flaming bananas with drzzled with caramel was the right way to end off our dinner.

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We were too tired to talk after the dinner and decided to head back to our hotel to re-energize before touring around Hanoi city the next day.
#7 Man, it was hot! I should have listened to Chris and get a hat. Maybe I’ll look better in this:

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Stay tune for more!

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