Taiwan and Vietnam


Day 13

Breakfast and transfer to the day boat

Another fairly early morning start but we’re welcomed to a buffet breakfast on the boat that included an omelette station and fresh pho. After getting in a quick breakfast we had to be ready and down on the transfer boat that was taking us to the day boat we would be on for the day.

The day boat was not far away and when we got onboard we were given some instructions of the day. The day boat had chairs indoors and the deck on top but no rooms. We were going to sail for about 1.5 hours before we reached the area close to the beach we would be kayaking too so we decided to give a Vietnamese boardgame a try!


The reception in Halong Bay is not great but while we were on the boat there was a sudden rush of great reception. As it was Christmas day we all quickly made the most of this opportunity to call our families to wish them Merry Christmas and show them where we were.

We then also decided to try this green glutinous rice with stuffed beans that Rob bought from one of the shops near our hotel in Hanoi. There are a lot of shops around our hotel in Hanoi selling this and we think this is something they eat for luck over Lunar Year. It was pretty nice and we offered some to the ship manager who didn’t know what it was, we thought maybe because he’s not from Hanoi.

Kayaking to the beach

After chatting and chilling we reached the location where we would kayak to the beach. It was about a 20 minute kayak ride one way however if you didn’t want to kayak you could get on the motor boat. This was Rob’s first time kayaking so we were a little slower trying to encourage him but he made it and did very well! We only got slightly wet bums but that was ok as the sun had come out for the beach that we were spending about 1 hour at.

We made it to the beach and lay our towels down. I decided to read a little though the view was so peaceful and serene I ended up just lying and watching the world pass me by. We explored a little bit of the beach but it wasn’t big and before long we were told it was time to pack up and getting into our kayak’s to go back to the day boat for lunch.

Lunch on the boat

We came back to the boat a little wetter so I changed but some of us just sat on towels as the sun was out so had the chance to dry later. This time it was a set lunch not buffet. The slow cooked ribs were delicious and again as there were so many courses we were full of food and needed a nap!

As the sun came out we decided to try to get a deckchair on the deck and just chill and chat to the others on board. It was a nice way to relax after a fairly long day.

Relaxation time back on the ship

When we got back we decided it to freshen up and use the bath in the room. We wanted to also make sunset so after relaxing we headed up to the deck of the to enjoy the sunset. It was beautiful to lay and watch the amazing landscape of Halong Bay. Steve did a timelapse too.

Cooking class

As we missed cooking class the day before we decided to try to make this one. This class was for rice paper rolls. It was a bit of fun as the ship manager taught us. It was pretty straightforward and something we’ve done at home before but at least we got to try one of our creations before dinner!


Dinner was a set meal not buffet which we were actually looking forward to having! The set meal was similar to dishes served at the buffet but bigger and probably a bit fancier in the way it was put together. It was definitely not as extravagant as the Christmas eve spread but that’s probably a good thing because we had been eating so much! After dinner I was ready for an early night as we had a pretty early start the following day. Anth, Amy and Rob decided to try squid fishing again but unfortunately had no luck.