Wednesday started out rather unpleasantly with a four-hour bus ride. Luckily, the destination was worth the ride. We were driving from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay where we were going to take a cruise on the Bay. Although the scenery from the bus was beautiful, most of us slept through it all, awaking only when we arrived at the hotel so we could change into our swimsuits and take off again for the cruise. Our boat for the cruise was perfect for the experience. The downstairs had tables where we were able to enjoy a fresh seafood lunch. After lunch, many of us went upstairs to enjoy the view. The beauty was truly indescribable although I will do my best to do so. We were surrounded by mountains that jutted out of nowhere. Everything was green and fresh looking. The water, although dirty, was vast and inviting. It was amazing to sit on the upper level of the boat simply breathing in the fresh air, feeling the sunshine on your face, relaxing and forgetting all the worries of homework and looming presentations.
We enjoyed the cruise for a bit and then the boat docked on an island where we had the option of either swimming or hiking to the pagoda at the top of the island. We had heard that the water was not very good for swimming, and although it was really salty and dirty looking, many of us chose to swim anyway. We swam from buoy to buoy, played games, and just enjoyed the chance to play around in the water. It was hard to leave the water to get back on the boat but luckily the cruise wasn’t over yet. After swimming we went to another island where we hiked up to a gorgeous cave.
There were stalactites and stalactites throughout the cave that had developed over hundreds of years. It was amazing to walk through and see what nature had done. After the cave we returned to the boat, went back to the city and were treated to another seafood dinner. Although it was sad to see the boat trip end, it was amazing to at least be able to enjoy it for as long as we did. Ha Long Bay is beautiful, and Wednesday was the perfect day of wonder and exploration before the stress of presentations and homework set in.