This must have been the only trip that I didn’t do any “homework" before departure. I was so prepared to go to Turkey! But too bad all the other places that I really go are all pretty messed up at the moment with all kinds of threats and danger. Maybe there’s a reason why I ended up in Vietnam this time. This trip changed my perception of Vietnam by quite a bit. It was filled with pleasant surprises. ( continue in English here)
這次的行程算是我最懶的一次，完全沒做功課，連guidebook也沒翻翻看看，整個是準備去土耳其的心裏準備，還真不知道這一生還有沒有機會去土耳其，我想去的幾個地方怎麼現在都是戰火煙硝 （sigh..) 不過這次意外到了越南也完全是意想不到的驚奇。
延續上篇登上 Paradise Cruise 過夜遊下龍灣，第一天在船上有兩個下船點，下龍灣這邊的行程有許多路線，以號碼區分，我們兩天一夜走這邊的這個行程的路線好像是 no. 3.
To continue the last post on Paradise Cruise, this post is about the 2 island stops on day 1. There are many “routes" or itineraries for cruising in Halong Bay. Each of them are numbered. I think I heard the one we took this time is route no. 3, one of the more scenic ones.
在靠近第一站要去的驚訝洞 (Surprise Cave – Hang Sung Sot), 因為需要換小接駁船才能靠岸，在等待接駁船時就會看到這邊的許多這樣的“雜貨店船”, 有些還是由看起來像是未成年的在划。
The first stop is Surprise Cave – Hang Sung Sot. We had to take a small connecting boat to reach the island. Because there were many visitors and cruises here, there were also many of these “floating shops".
The Surprise Cave is one of the largest caves here. The entrance may look small. But as the name implies, once you enter it you’d be amazed by the majestic
這一兩年好像就走了不少個不同國家的鐘乳石洞，每個都有些特色，我認為這驚訝洞的特點是看起來很寬廣, 挑高＆有自然採光的 “內廳".
I think I’ve been to a few caves like this in the past 2 years. But each of them still have some uniqueness to it. The uniqueness of this cave I think is its spaciousness and the natural light from outside illuminating the “hidden gem" inside.
Because it rained quite heavily in the morning, the mist gave the cave a dream-like quality to it.
Although this is definitely not the largest cave I’ve seen, I think this is not any less impressive. It’s not big in there and not many steps going up and down. Didn’t take long to finish the walk so would be pretty suitable for all ages I think.
The cave has many legends and stories as well. (just like the caves in China.. have all sorts of legends and stories).
From outside of the cave looking into the “lobby" of the cave.
回到我們的航空母艦後，不用等多久我們就又開到了下船景點，這個小島有名的就是下龍灣那有名的360度空拍照。這個島翻成 “英雄島" (Ti Top Island), 一上岸時就會看到一座胡志明主席的人像，而這座島的名字其實是胡志明主席以一位1962年來下龍灣的俄國太空人命名的。
Back on our boat and not too long after we were at our next stop – The Ti Top Island). The Island was named after a Russian astronaut German Titop by Ho Chi Minh in 1962 when the astronaut visited Halong Bay.
The steps were actually quite steep (the photo cannot do it justice). My legs were not mine at the end of it. Actually I can’t even remember how i got up there…
爬上山頂據說是 400 多個階梯，聽起來好像沒很多，確實也是，不過很陡，有些步伐得跨得比較大。
There are about 400 some steps to get up there. Doesn’t seem like a lot but the steps were quite steep in some area. & can be slippery on rainy days.
The most photographed view in Halong Bay. But it’s a bit crazy to see so many boats here.
應該是附近停靠的船上的客人都來這個島了吧？上面超多人，連沙灘＆海水裡都很多人… 而且這邊海灘上的沙灘椅，若是要坐得先準備些現金… (會有人走過來和你收錢)
Not only were people on the islands, there were also people in the water. The sandy beach was also filled with people. If you’d like to take a seat at one of those beach lounge chair, you need to prepare some cash because someone will collect a fee from you for using it. The good thing is it’s not going at an hourly rate.
整個島上的天氣其實也是有些悶熱，加上人又多，又沒什麼乾淨可坐的地方 (早知道就在離開船時拿那時工作人員給的沙灘毯子… 但想到大熱天爬山也要拿著就算了), 回到船上真好. 這是船上第三層"樓", 我們用餐的地方，晚上這邊也有播電影, 平時也可來這邊看書, 書架上的書也算滿多的.
The island was a bit too crowded. Was glad to be back on the boat. This is the dining area + library + mini cinema.
回到船上時接下來的節目是在日落前在甲板上看主廚做越式春捲（在這篇)，從甲板上看日落，過夜船的燈點綴了這片 landscape. 晚上我們還有個精彩的節目，就是搭船到一個鐘乳石洞穴內用晚餐! (看下一篇吧)
Back on the boat and before the sun set, we had a culinary showcase onboard. A chef onboard demonstrated how to make Vietnamese spring roll. Then we were given the chance to make it ourselves (see this post: ). After that, we took a mini boat ride to a nearby cave to have a candlelight dinner! (see this post)
隔天一早起來本來 6 點多有個在甲板打晨間太極的活動，不過我雖然在 6點多醒來了，但就是提不起勁出門打太極，只有從馬桶間看日出一下就倒回去睡到7點多一定得起來去看一個景點。
I was going to attend the morning Taichi session around 6 in the morning. I did wake up around that time but just couldn’t get myself to walk upstairs. So I saw the sunrise from my toilet and went back to sleep.
We had a stop at another island early in the morning around 7:30. It’s not some morning mist or fog. It was just my DSLR lens fogging up.
We had to take a transfer boat to a floating deck and take a non-motorized boat through this Luon Cave. The tide determines whether we could go in or not.
一過了小”隧道“後映入眼簾別有洞天，這裡也曾是 007 電影 ‘ Tomorrow Never Dies" 取景的場地, 也因為那 James Bond movie, 這個地方成了個火紅的觀光景點。
After passing through that “tunnel", it was like a different world on the other side. This was also where some parts of the James Bond 007 movie – Tomorrow Never Dies were filmed. Since then this place has been marketed as the “James Bond island / cave".
It was nice and quiet early in the morning. All you could near were mainly sounds of nature. It would’ve been nice to kayak here. I could’ve chosen to do that (it’s all included in the cruise package). But apparently our feet and pants could get quite wet in that kayak. I didn’t bring any shorts and was too lazy to do the clean up after so I opted for the other option .
There were many monkeys here. But we didn’t see any when we were there. Maybe they were still sleeping?! After that we were on our way back to the boat.
Too hungry to think, must have breakfast first!
Having Vietnamese Pho for breakfast. Light & delicious!
早餐也是 buffet，選擇 options 還不錯，也滿好吃的。
Buffet breakfast. A good selection.
我們的船在中午前就會回到巡州島的碼頭結束這次的海上 Villa 行程。
Our boat will return to the point of departure before noon time.
The marks the end of our cruise. It was still hot and stuffy. Many day trip boats were just heading out when we came back. After all the natural scenery, we were heading back to the city life.
北越 河內下龍灣 海上 Villa Related Posts (連結等po完再來update):
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3. [ 下龍灣 ] 天堂號海上 Villa – Luxury Paradise Cruise
4. [ 下龍灣 ] 過夜船的 007 停靠景點
5. [下龍灣 ] 洞穴中的燭光晚餐
6. [ 河內 ] LOTTE 高空觀景、下午茶＆Hotel
7. [ 河內 ] 法國殖民風老城與政治巡禮
8. [ 河內 ] 意想不到的氣氛餐廳