Into the sunset

July 29, 2013 ASEAN Backpacking

During sunsets, everything looks magical. It's my most favorite part of the day and the best sunsets are those that cap a wonderful day, like the one I had with my ASEAN backpacking buddies.

Same month last year, we had our first tour where we traversed the Mekong River from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and finally exited in Bangkok. 

This time, for our Indochina Trip, we entered Bangkok, passed by Vientiane, then Hanoi. This is one of the trip's highlights.

The lovely Halong Bay

Halong Bay, just like the Philippines' Puerto Prinsesa Underground River, was recently awarded one of the new 7 wonders of nature.

Ha Long Bay, situated in the Gulf of Tonkin, includes some 1600 islands. The name means descending dragon.

We booked a cruise with V (Vietnamese) Spirit Cruises, which housed us on board a wooden boat with deluxe cabins. Our room had a magnificent sea view and good bathroom. It was actually tempting to forego of the tours and just relax with a good book at the sun-deck bar but I couldn't say pass to cave exploration, trekking, swimming and kayaking.

That is sunset kayaking, most especially.

There is nothing like watching the sky change color, from bright blue to the beautiful tints of red and oranges, with the limestone islands of Halong Bay as backdrop. 

We stopped paddling for a while so we could just be quiet and marvel at the scene. 

We had a packed and exciting itinerary and sunset kayaking was perfect to cap the day. 

We let the time pass with our actual thoughts, and not by scrolling down facebook walls or browsing tweets. We didn't hurry. We just appreciate every moment in that calm water. There was no pressure,  no worries, no stress. We watched until the sun set.

My kayak partner was Melvin and he arranged most of this trip. We all agreed that the Halong Bay cruise was one of the, if not the, best part of the trip.

Here are the reasons why.

First, we had generous servings of good food.  Each meal was a feast.

We even learned how to make spring rolls.

Of course, we had a good time exploring Halong Bay --

from inside a cave

to its rooftop

to the sea.

And it was all fun. But still, kayaking into the sunset was the best part.

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