Thank God we listened to other travellers who convinced us that we would be really disappointed if we did the 2 days and 1 night trip on Halong Bay. We changed it to 3 days and 2 nights and it was one of the best things we did during our 5 week holiday in Asia. We ended up on IndoChina's Dragon Pearl Number 3, which only took some 20 people. The junk was great and exceeded all our expectations. We had a veritable 'United Nations' on board as there were people from Tahiti, Brazil, Australia, Scotland and, when you throw in 6 Latvians, you know the trip is going to be a good one. Add Mr Wang (affectionately known as 'Whisky') our guide who was great as was his English and his sense of humour, a crew who couldn't do enough for you and the experience was worth every cent! The BBQ dinner in the cave on the 2nd night was simply magical and the Dragon Pearl crew topped off a great night by singing to us at the end of the dinner. Not to be outdone the Latvians responded but 'Waltzing Matilda' was the last song that echoed through the cave that night. That was certainly one of the many highlights of the trip. Of course, you just can't go past the serene, tranquil beauty of the bay itself. A visit to the fishing village was also a highlight but, if you go with the intent of buying pearls, be aware that there are two locations at which pearls may be purchased and we found the pearls at the second location to be of a better quality than those at the first. Being rowed around the village in bamboo boats was certainly a highlight! (Score 1 to the Latvians as one of the girls took along some sweets which she offerred to the school children there. That was pretty cool. You should have seen their faces light up). Swimming (the water temperature was ideal), kayaking, fine dining (the food was so delicious), cheap drinks, great service, great company, great weather (we were there 11 October - 13 October - and this was supposedly the low season because of the wet weather - what wet weather?), and you start to get an idea of why we wanted to stay. 3 days, 2 nights on IndoChina's Dragon Pearl - UNREAL!!!
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