Saturday, March 7, 2020

Halong Bay Cruise, 3

Our cabin, at the stern of the Dragon's Pearl 2 conveniently overlooked the deck from which repairs were effected the second night aboard. We didn't watch--it was late and dark--but could hear muffled clattering from midnight until about 2:30, when I thought I heard a muffled cheer and applause. By the time we got up for breakfast, the ship was underway, and we learned that, despite the mishap, we were still going to see the cave on Skyview Mountain and also still going to see the fishing village and the oyster farm. Three things in which we had little interest. The emphasis on these cruises is on activities, not the scenery (much less the geology). We saw far less of the scenery than we'd hoped to see. But Indochina Junk apparently felt that since none of the activities were curtailed, there was no harm in never getting to the bay and islands we had paid to see. Oh well. As with other tours and cruises, there is enough fine print and caveats to ensure the passenger has no rights and no recourse. Not a new lesson. We still much enjoyed the scenery we did get to see. It's a spectacular place.
Underway! On our own power!

Skyview Mountain, where seemingly every cruise puts in to see the cave; Vicki
and I demurred; it was 300 steps up to the cave and back down, and she wanted
to save her knees for trekking in Sapa (next post) 

When the passengers returned, the crew had raised the sails; flimsy show-sails,
I thought

Dragon's Pearl 2 then made for the fishing village and loaded us into the lighter

For our tour, via row boat, of the fishing village and oyster


Among the karsts

Another day, another arch

Fishing vessels

Approaching the oyster farm

And a presentation on oysters and pearls; this is a pearl farm

Harvesting an artificially induced pearl

Quite a bit more than I wanted to know about oysters; though a week later I
was slurping them down at an all you could eat sushi extravaganza

Oyster farm

Our ship awaits, ready for the return voyage to Ha Long...maybe 90 minutes

It was easy to follow our progress throughout the three days; we never got
remotely close to Bai Tu Long Bay

Last views of the karsts

Approaching Ha Long harbor and journey's end

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